Prepared for Import Control System 2 (ICS2) ?

If you are an online seller selling to the EU, Northern Ireland, Norway and Switzerland and you're not ready for this change, now is the time.

The European Union (EU) has implemented new requirements for air shipments entering the EU. From March 1st, 2023, the Import Control System 2 (ICS2) is applied to all air cargo shipments using postal operators, air carriers, and freight forwarders.

Check out this article to find how to handle this for your online store

  • What is the Import Control System (ICS)?
  • HS code requirements for air shipments to the EU
  • Target region/countries
  • How to handle shipments through FedEx, DHL, and UPS?

What is the Import Control System 2 (ICS2)?

The Import Control System 2 (ICS2) is an electronic system developed by the European Union (EU) for managing the import of goods into the EU. It is a system that requires providing cargo details, HS codes, and other shipment information electronically in advance when transporting goods to or through EU member countries, Northern Ireland, Norway, or Switzerland.

HS code requirements for air shipments to the EU

The HS code requirement for air shipments to the EU, which applies to postal operators, airlines, and others from March 1st, 2023, is a new requirement introduced to strengthen safety and security at customs through the information system, Import Control System 2 (ICS2). All items shipped to EU countries by air must include a six-digit Harmonized System (HS) code.

Therefore, when exporting goods to EU member countries, Northern Ireland, Norway, or Switzerland, EC businesses must provide cargo information electronically that is compatible with ICS2.

Shipment information required under ICS2

Under the new regulation, the following measures are required for air cargo transport in the EU:

  1. Accurately provide a minimum six-digit HS code
  2. Accurately provide goods description for each item in the shipment
  3. Provide the consignee's Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number. (*This is applied only for shipment to business with VAT registered.)

By providing the accurate shipment details, Ecommerce businesses can ensure smooth customs transactions when shipping products to customers in the EU.

Target region/countries

The Import Control System 2 (ICS2) applies to all EU member countries and the following non-EU countries:

  • Northern Iceland
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
  • European Union (EU): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

How to handle shipments through FedEx, DHL, and UPS?

Last but not least, we'd like to explain how to handle shipment through overseas couriers such as FedEx, DHL, and UPS.

Just 2 things to keep in mind:

  1. Create a shipping label using an online shipping tool.
  2. Add HS codes when creating the label.

For ecommerce businesses that create shipping labels using Ship&co application, you can be relieve since Ship&co supports transferring shipment data through electronic communications. If you are creating those major carriers' shipping label via Ship&co, you shipment details will be automatically submitted.

If you are selling on Shopify, make sure to set up HS code on product pages. Then, it will automatically sync to Ship&co, enabling you to create shipping label of correct HS code and detailed product category.

If you are on marketplace like eBay, Amazon, Etsy or other ecommerce platform such as Magento and WooCommerce, you can simply set HS code up inside Ship&co dashboard.

Want to ship your products to the EU with ease? Try out Ship&co today!

About Ship&co

Ship&co is a global shipping platform designed by and for e-commerce sellers. Created by the team behind Bento&co, who have been selling on Shopify since 2008, Ship&co provides a simple and easy-to-use web dashboard and shipping API. Ship&co helps online sellers ship packages faster by automatically syncing orders and creating shipping labels and commercial invoices in minutes. With Ship&co, you can create shipping labels for FedEx, UPS, DHL, NinjaVan, Yamato, Sagawa, and more, with just two clicks to complete the process and mark your orders as shipped. For more information on Ship&co, visit or reach out to us via !