Important Security Requirements For Businesses Expanding Into Europe
You have decided to expand your market outside of North America. You are familiar with the rules of shipping your product to the United States and have worked with your transportation partner to make sure your automated manifest system (AMS) process is in place so that you can avoid delays at the border.
Being familiar with this process will make things easier for you as you grow your market in Europe. Effective January 1, 2011 the European Union (EU) has made its security data pre-reporting requirements mandatory.
What does this mean for you? While your transportation provider is responsible for submitting the Entry Summary Declaration (ENS), they will rely on you to make sure the information is accurate. An ENS will need to be submitted for all shipments into the Customs territory of the EU, irrespective of the final destination. The ENS must be filed at the first Customs office of entry and prior to cargo arrival. The time frames are as follows:
- Containerized Ocean Cargo: 24 hours prior to the commencement of the vessel loading
- Air Cargo (flights more than 4 hours in duration): 4 hours before arrival at first EU airport
- Air Cargo (flights less than 4 hours in duration): At take off
- Rail and inland waterways: 2 hours before arrival at the EU Customs office
- Trucks: 1 hour before arrival at the EU Customs office
While the transportation provider (or a designated third party) has the obligation to file the ENS, it is the responsibility of the shipper to provide the required information in a timely manner. Failure to provide accurate, complete and timely data will result in the shipment not being loaded for transport. This will result in delays and additional costs. Required ENS data includes:
- Shipper and consignee complete name and address
- Notify party name and address (for shipments via a negotiable “to order” bill of lading)
- Specific description at the item level and a minimum HS Code of 6 digits at item level - the terms “consolidated cargo” and “general cargo” are no longer acceptable
- Container and seal number
- Number of packages, type of packaging, marks and gross weight
- UN Dangerous Code (if applicable)
EU Customs authorities will perform a risk analysis based on the pre-departure information submitted through ENS. After assessing the data, EU authorities will 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 (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 the 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.
Advanced reporting of security data is also required of exports from EU member countries. It is now a requirement that an Exit Summary Declaration (EXS) be filed with the appropriate Customs authority. The EXS process is handled differently by Customs of each EU member state.
The majority of these items are part of your packing list and B-13 that are completed for overseas shipments. Aside from the security regulations, it is also important to know if the product you are shipping has any other export or import requirements. Your transportation provider has a variety of tools at their disposal so that the questions are answered before it is too late. It is imperative that the shipper have an open dialogue with the transportation provider so that there are no surprises. Secrets do not work well in the transportation industry!
These types of security requirements will be taking place for Canadian imports very soon, as the Canadian government is working on strengthening and broadening their ACI requirements. As we get more information, we will keep you updated on the requirements and dates.