In 2024, the European Union will introduce several significant changes to its shipping regulations, impacting companies importing and exporting goods to the EU. This comprehensive overview highlights the new requirements that logistics and supply chain professionals need to know to ensure their operations remain compliant and efficient.

  1. Implementing the Import Control System 2 (ICS2):

Starting March 1, 2024, the EU will implement the third release of its customs pre-arrival security and safety program, ICS2. This system will require all goods transported to or through the EU to have a complete Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) with additional safety and security data. Businesses must obtain an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number from one of the EU Member States’ customs authorities. Companies should also conduct self-conformance testing to ensure their systems can handle the new requirements effectively.

  1. Adapting to Changes in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS):

Starting January 1, 2024, the EU will incorporate shipping into its Emissions Trading System (ETS). This initiative will set a cap on emissions of certain greenhouse gases and require companies to purchase emission allowances. Initially, the system will price 40% of the emissions from 2024, increasing to 70% in 2025 and reaching 100% by 2026. This will apply to all voyages where ports of loading or discharge are within the EU/EEA.

  1. Adjusting VAT and IOSS for E-commerce:

The EU has made significant adjustments regarding VAT collection and the Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) registration for e-commerce businesses. Since July 1, 2021, all goods imported into the EU are subject to VAT, with no exemptions for low-value goods. U.S. sellers targeting EU customers must now collect VAT and register for an IOSS account to facilitate the declaration and payment of VAT.

  1. Enhancing Air Freight Customs Regulations:

During the second phase of ICS2, all air freight forwarders, carriers, and postal operators transporting goods to or through the EU must adhere to advanced data reporting requirements. This includes providing complete ENS and HS Codes of inbound goods and ensuring the EU consignee’s EORI number is included. This phase aims to enhance the security and safety of air shipments by enabling pre-loading and pre-arrival customs risk assessments.

These updates are not just about compliance; they are strategic imperatives for maintaining the resilience and success of international trade operations in a changing regulatory environment. For detailed guidance and to ensure your systems and processes are prepared for these changes, consulting with experts or referring to the detailed documentation provided by the EU and associated bodies is advisable.