Import Control System (ICS)

If you operate:

  • a sea-going ship
  • or
  • an aircraft

that is carrying non-European Union (EU) goods into the customs territory of the Union, you must provide details in advance of your arrival. This is done by submitting an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS). The ENS should be submitted at your first office of entry in the EU for that vessel or aircraft.

You should lodge the ENS to the ICS. This system is used across the EU and is used to:

  • lodge and process the ENS
  • and
  • exchange electronic messages between customs administrations, economic operators and the European Commission.

ICS ensures that import operations starting in one Member State can be completed in another Member State without resubmitting the ENS. The ENS will undergo risk assessment and any appropriate safety and security data will be passed to the other Member State.

For further information on ICS, please see the Import Control System - Trader Guide.

Revenue provides fallback arrangements that you can use to clear your goods when electronic systems are unavailable.

You will find further information in Customs fallback service.

Data protection

The Import, Export and Transit Directory (IET) at OLAF (European Commission anti-fraud office) collects information on the movement of goods for customs purposes. This information is collected from ICS. 

The information collected usually refers to companies, but may also refer to individuals. You can find further information on the data collected by the IET in Privacy Statement for IET.

Import Control System 2 (ICS2)

The ICS is being gradually replaced with a new system called Import Control System 2 (ICS2). This new system will allow for the implementation of the new Union Custom Code processes and procedures relating to the entry of goods.

Further information

Revenue operates a helpline for queries on the ICS.