The Import Control System (ICS)
The ICS is an electronic system developed by the European Commission and the Member States for the lodging and processing of ENS (entry summary declaration), and for the exchange of messages between national customs administrations, between them and economic operators, and with the European Commission.
The objective of ICS is to ensure that import operations starting in one Member State can be completed in another Member State without resubmission of the same information. When goods enter the European Union (EU) for the first time, they do so via the Office of First Entry. If goods remain on the same mode of transport and are imported into another Member State, they do so via an Office of Subsequent Entry.
Using EU agreed common risk rules, the Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) will undergo risk analysis and any appropriate safety and security data will be passed to other Member States where they are identified as being included in the itinerary of the means of transport.
The main functionality to be provided in ICS is the following: –
As Office of First Entry, accept Entry Summary Declarations from traders.
Record information such as diversions and amendments
Notify the Office of Subsequent Entry that goods for which risks have been identified will be arriving in their office
As Office of Subsequent Entry, act on data received from other Member States to control goods coming into the respective EU country
Allow Entry or Reject Entry of goods into the EU
Provide for requests of ENS data from mother Member States
Key Terms Used in ICS
Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) An Entry Summary Declaration is an electronic safety and security declaration from the Carrier to the Customs Authorities. It must be lodged in advance of arrival of the aircraft/vessel/conveyance/conveyance
Customs Office of First Entry (OoFE) The Office of First Entry is the first (air)port in the Community at which the aircraft/vessel/conveyance/conveyance is scheduled to call when coming from a (air)port outside the Community.
Customs Office of Subsequent Entry (OoSE) The Office of Subsequent Entry is any (air)port in the Community on the aircraft/vessel/conveyance/conveyance itinerary that the aircraft/vessel/conveyance will call after its call at the first (air)port in the Community, without an intervening call at any (air)port outside the Community.
Movement Reference Number (MRN) The Movement Reference Number is the number issued by a Member State’s ICS once the ENS has been successfully validated, accepted and registered. The MRN will be notified to the declarant and, where different, the carrier.
IE315 (or any other number) -IE stands for ‘Information Exchange’. All messages exchanged between ICS, traders and other Member States are allocated an IE number. For example the message to submit an ENS (from trader to National ICS) is the IE315.
Trader at Entry (Carrier)- This is the carrier, the person responsible for submitting the ENS. The carrier can name a representative to allow them to make amendments on their behalf. In addition, the representative can submit the ENS for the carrier as well.
Person Lodging the ENS -This is the person sending the ENS. It can be a representative or the trader (carrier). If the trader (carrier) is sending the ENS, then the Trader at Entry (carrier) field can be empty. Otherwise the Person Lodging the ENS is a representative.
Trader Representative- This is a named representative. In the case where a representative sends the ENS, the Trader Representative field represents an extra representative. In the case where the trader is sending the ENS himself i.e. the trader (carrier) details are empty, then it represents the single mentioned representative.
Messages Received from Traders
IE315 Entry Summary Declaration – Message that Trader submits to notify customs that goods are coming in to the EU customs territory.
IE313 Entry Summary Declaration Amendment – Message that Trader submits to notify customs of changes to the original ENS that was submitted.
IE323 Diversion Request – Message that Trader sends in to notify customs of changes to the declared Office of First Entry.
Entry Summary Declarations
Responsibility for submitting the ENS
The legal responsibility for ensuring an ENS is submitted lies with the carrier or ‘operator of the active means of transport on or in which the goods are brought into the customs territory of the Community’. – this will be the shipping line or airline that actually carries the goods into the EU country. The operator is the person who brings, or who assumes responsibility for the carriage of the goods, into the customs territory of the Community and who issues the bill of lading/airway bill for the actual carriage of the goods on the vessel/aircraft/conveyance.
Who else may submit the ENS?
A representative may lodge the ENS on the Carrier’s behalf, providing it is done with the knowledge and consent of the Carrier. However, even in situations where a Carrier has asked an agent to act on his/her behalf, in the event of any difficult with the content of an ENS, or in cases where the ENS has not been lodged, the legal responsibility for the information provided or the absence of a declaration continues to lie with the Carrier.
Unintentional Dual Filing of an ENS
If the carrier has contractually agreed that a third party will file the ENS instead of it, the carrier should not make his own ENS filling for the same shipment and visa versa. In cases where dual filing does occur, i.e. the carrier and third party both file an ENS for the same shipment, customs authorities may decide to use both for their safety and security risk analysis. However, in the case of Irish Customs, the ENS lodged by the carrier will take precedence and be validated. The third party filing will be invalidated.
Movement Reference Number (MRN)
The MRN is a unique number that is automatically allocated by the customs office that receives the Entry Summary Declaration. Once the ENS (IE315) has passed all levels of validations, an MRN is issued to the person who submitted the ENS and the carrier (if different).
Submitting an amendment to an ENS (IE313)
Amendments may be lodged by the same person that lodged the original ENS or his representative. However, amendments can only be lodged at the customs Office of First Entry. For safety and security risk analysis, the ENS should not, due to restrictions resulting from IT systems, be amended after the notification of arrival or a diversion notification. Once a vessel or aircraft has left for a subsequent EU port or airport, no amendment of the ENS can be made.
Submitting a Diversion Request (IE323) for vessel/aircraft
Where the active means of transport is to be diverted to; 1) a Member State different from the MS where the declared Office of First Entry is located and 2) a Member State different from where any of the declared Offices of Subsequent Entry are November 2017 located, the operator of the active means of transport must lodge a ‘Diversion Notification’ with the initially declared Office of First Entry.
When must the ENS be lodged?
|TRANSPORTATION MODE||TIME LIMITS|
|Containerised maritime cargo (except short sea containerised shipping)||At least 24 hours before commencement of loading at departure|
|Bulk/break bulk maritime cargo (except short sea bulk/break bulk shipping)||At least 4 hours before arrival at the first port in the customs territory of the Community|
|Short sea shipping: Movements between Greenland, Faroe Islands, Ceuta, Melilla, Iceland, ports on the Baltic Sea, ports on the North Sea, ports on the Black Sea or ports on the Mediterranean, all ports of Morocco and the customs territory of the Community except French overseas department, Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands||At least 2 hours before arrival at the first port in the customs territory of the Community|
|Short sea shipping: Movements with a duration of less than 24 hours between a territory outside the customs territory of the Community and the French overseas departments, Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands||At least 2 hours before arrival at the first port in the customs territory of the Community|
|Short haul flights (less than 4 hours duration)||At least by the time of the actual take off of the aircraft|
|Long haul flights (more than 4 hours duration)||At least 4 hours before arrival at the first airport in the Community|
|Rail and inland waterways||At least 2 hours before arrival at the customs office of entry in the Community|
|Road traffic||At least 1 hour before arrival at the customs office of entry in the Community|