New Import Control System increases supply chain security

a. hartrodt supports air freight customers when ICS 2 replaces ICS as of 1 March 2023.

On 1 March 2023, the European Union will launch the Import Control System "ICS 2" for inbound air freight. For each shipment, the new Import Control System electronically assesses real-time risks in order to increase supply chain security. This increases the requirements for a. hartrodt's customers in terms of their data quality: "It is now important to obligate all suppliers in good time so that they provide correct shipment-related data," says Jan-Eike Boonstoppel, Air Cargo Security and Customs Officer at a. hartrodt. This avoids delays and additional control measures in the new two-step registration process.

Pre-information must be specific to the cargo

ICS 2 will gradually replace the previous ICS for all modes of transport as well as mail – in March 2021 already for courier services in air transport before loading. "Everything went off without a hitch and the basic principle has been implemented," says Jan-Eike Boonstoppel, summing up phase one. Before the start of phase two, he appeals to airfreight customers to provide clear Pre-loading Advance Cargo Information (PLACI) to the freight forwarder or to have it transmitted by the consignor.

Transmit 7+1 data set as early as possible

The PLACI with a "7+1 minimum data set" is required by the airline as early as possible before the aircraft is permitted to be loaded at the last point of departure. In this context, Jan-Eike Boonstoppel points out an important innovation to customers: "The Economic Operators' Registration and Identification number, EORI, which is valid throughout the EU, becomes part of the pre-arrival notification." Furthermore, "7+1" includes the name and full address of the original consignor as well as the final consignee, the number of packages, the total gross weight, a detailed cargo description and the six-digit customs tariff number (HS code), air waybill number (House/Master). Jan-Eike Boonstoppel points out that "shoes", for example, is "insufficient": "The EU requires more precise information such as 'leather shoes for men' or 'cloth shoes for children'."

Even though ICS 2 is complex, Jan-Eike Boonstoppel remains relaxed: "Normally, the process takes place in the country of departure. Technically, we are well prepared to be able to intervene at any time to provide support if, contrary to expectations, this is required." Incidentally, the experts at a. hartrodt are already preparing phase three for sea freight, road and rail transport from 1 March 2024 in just the same professional manner.