Kewill (LSE: KWL), a leading provider of solutions that simplify global trade and logistics, has voiced concerns that the market is not doing enough to prepare for the initial phase of the new Import Control System (ICS), which becomes mandatory for all shipments into EU customs territory from 1 January 2011.
ICS is an additional Customs procedure, primarily designed to improve security by providing advance visibility of shipments, requiring detailed information on goods to be submitted information electronically, in the form of an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS), prior to their arrival within the Community. This will be used to perform a near real-time risk analysis to inform Customs authorities on how to deal with individual shipments, reducing the risk of dangerous or suspicious shipments being admitted.
Carriers of cargo will, in most cases, be responsible for the correct electronic submission of the required data to the first port of entry to the EU, with failure to comply or mistakes in the process potentially causing costly delays to shipments.
However, Kewill has found that the market appears to be relying on the 1 January date being deferred, or leniency from Customs authorities during the early days of ICS, and is not making the necessary preparations to ensure systems are in place to comply from day one. It warns that, particularly in light of the failed air freight bomb plot which came to light earlier this month, ICS requirements are likely to be rigidly observed, and immediate action must be taken to achieve compliance by the deadline.
Wolfgang Schwab, Chief Strategy Officer for Customs at Kewill said "ICS represents a major change to EU customs security controls, and compliance is not optional. Those involved in the shipment of goods who believe it will be possible to carry on providing a manual freight manifest at point of arrival are in for an unpleasant surprise as, unfortunately, are their customers, who will count the cost in terms of disruption.
Achieving compliance with ICS can seem daunting, however using an integrated customs solution, such as Kewill CustomsXchange, to handle electronic customs declarations seamlessly via local solutions and domain experts, can significantly reduce the burden."