As of January 1, 2011, the European Union (EU) has implemented changes to the EU Customs Regulations, which now require carriers to provide a pre-declaration at the first point of entry to the EU. This EU Customs Union Security Filing program is part of the European Import Control System (ICS) and will apply to all 27 member states of the EU in an effort to address the security and automation of shipments in and out of the EU.
Any import or transit shipment from a third country – except Norway and Switzerland – must submit specific data with an electronic Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) prior to entry. The risk potential of goods will then be analyzed by evaluating the submitted data against risk criteria. This is also required for all shipments which are routed through the European Union to an outside destination.
Transplace International Vice President Sheila Hewitt advises, “This new regulation requires careful planning from shippers as well as investments in IT infrastructure and process changes for the carriers. Shippers and their third-party logistics providers should contact its carriers to coordinate the sharing of the required ENS data between the two parties to ensure smooth transactions.
Outlined below are the deadlines for the filing ENS with EU customs authorities:
- Road Transport: At least 1 hour prior to arrival at the EU customs office of entry
- Rail and inland waterways: At least two hours prior to arrival at the customs office of entry
- Ocean Freight Deep Sea: 24 hours prior to loading
- Ocean Freight Short Sea: Two hours prior to arrival at the first EU port
- Ocean Freight Break Bulk: Four hours prior to arrival at the first EU port
- Air Freight Long Distance (greater than four hours) : Four hours prior to arrival at the first EU airport
- Air Freight Short Distance (less than four hours): At take-off
All ENS documentation must be submitted shippers from the exporting country must include the following information:
- Full name and address of shipper
- Full name and address of consignee
- Full name and address of notify third party
- Description of goods in line with the EU’s Guidelines on acceptable and unacceptable terms for the description of goods for exit and entry summary declarations. For Example, “consolidated cargo” and “general cargo” are no longer accepted.
- Six digits of the commodity HS-Code (Harmonized System Code) / customs tariff number
- Number and type of packages
- Seal number (FCL)
- Container number (FCL)
- Gross weight
- UN dangerous goods code (actual weight per UN No.)
EU Risk Analysis
EU customs authorities will perform a risk analysis based on the pre-departure information submitted through ENS. After assessing the data, EU authorities will then either approve or intercede in a shipment’s movement. A shipment may be determined to be one of the following:
- Risk Type A = do not load (only deep sea container traffic)
- Risk Type B = examination of the shipment at the first port of entry
- Risk Type C = examination of the shipment at the port of discharge
If the customs office identifies any risks, it transmits the risk information to all customs offices in subsequent EU ports declared in the ENS. This sharing of the risk information allows for customs control to take place upon the shipment deemed to be a risk, and the goods would not be loaded at the designated departure port or it would be inspected at port of discharge or the first EU entry point, depending on the risk type assessed. This inspection can potentially be time consuming and present additional charges.
Export shipments must also submit data to Customs before departure for risk analysis under the “Export Control System” (ECS). The ECS process is handled differently by customs of each EU member state.
Additional information on the European Customs Information Portal can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/ecip/index_en.htm.
Transplace is a non-asset based third party logistics (3PL) provider offering manufacturers, retailers and consumer packaged goods companies the optimal blend of logistics technology and transportation management services. From complete logistics management outsourcing to intelligent transportation management systems (TMS) and supply chain network planning and design to high-quality brokerage services, Transplace has proven the ability to deliver both rapid return on investment and consistent value to customers. The company is recognized among the elite global 3PLs by a customer base that includes many of the largest shippers in the world.
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