Europe Implements Import Control System 2 (ICS2) on March 1, 2023

Beginning March 1, 2023, all goods shipped into or transiting through the EU, Northern Ireland, Norway, and Switzerland by air will need to have: (1) a six-digit Harmonized System (HS) code and (2) an accurate goods description for each item in the shipment. Additionally, if the sender knows the receiver’s Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number, that will need to be included as well.

These new ICS2 rules apply to all goods, except documents, regardless of value; and apply to all international shipping providers (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.). ICS2 data is required for all shipments transiting via any EU country even if the final destination is not within the EU.

HS codes are part of an internationally standardized system used to describe and classify goods. HS codes are used by customs authorities to identify items and apply the correct duties, taxes, and/or restrictions to goods. When more than one HS code is present, the net weight of each HS code is also required.

Senders and exporters need to provide a full and accurate description of the goods being shipped to include: (1) What the good is; (2) What the good is made of; and (3) What the good is intended for.

EORIs are registration numbers that companies apply for which allow them to transport goods and conduct business in the EU and other European countries; EORIs are different from VAT numbers. If the sender or exporter knows the receiver’s EORI number, international shipping companies want that information included on the shipping application and/or commercial invoice.

Shipping goods with incomplete ICS2 required information can result in potential shipping and transit delays, fines or penalties, and the inability for goods to clear customs.

For more information regarding HS codes visit:

For further information concerning EORI numbers visit: