Import Control System 2 (ICS2) for Mail

Resource Center

This resource center includes information regarding the EU Import Control System 2 (ICS2) requirements for mail. We encourage air carriers to bookmark this page and to check back often for updated information.

What is ICS2 for Mail?

Simply stated, beginning on March 1, 2023, airlines carrying mail consignments will need to transmit pre-arrival electronic information to EU customs authorities. Air carriers need to prepare now ahead of the anticipated ICS2 deadlines and get in line for testing with solution providers.

What Do We Know About ICS2?

What Do We Know About ICS2?

Below is a non-exhaustive list of some of the items that are known about ICS2. However, there are still areas where clarity is still equired. Descartes is at the leading edge of ICS2 compliance to ensure that our solution addresses all industry concerns, questions, and scenarios.

  • EU transit mail will be excluded from the initial ICS2 filing requirements
  • There is a grace period for full compliance from 01 March 2023 to 30 June 2023
  • Airlines have to apply for the deployment phase in the country that issued their EORI
  • Descartes Mail users will need to update their mobile software to include the consignment/AR Flag validation functionality
  • Descartes Mail users should ensure all mobile devices have real-time connectivity to a network if they wish to be able to check for late CARDIT for validation when processing the mail
  • Airlines will need to develop operational procedures for how to manage mail physically received without CARDIT data available

  • Airlines will need to determine, under what circumstances if any, they wish to continue to transport unconsigned mail after March 2023
  • Airlines will need to determine if they wish to continue with any airline to airline mail handover business; and if so, what data sharing will be required to support this
  • There are topics in relation to release 2 still being discussed between EU and UPU, such as legal aspects, transit and transshipment, that still need clarification
  • CargoIMP does not allow for the necessary data support for ICS2 for mail – Only CargoXML compliant messages will be supported by Descartes
  • Airlines will need to provide Descartes with AWB stock if they wish for Descartes to manage the assignment of PAWB# to CARDIT.

Descartes Has You Covered for ICS2

We are Pleased to Announce That Air Carriers Can Test with Descartes

As a long-standing innovator in technology for the air cargo industry, Descartes is at the leading edge of ICS2 compliance for mail. Our solutions are built based upon consultative efforts between carriers, postal authorities, and customs agencies to ensure you exceed compliance requirements.

Descartes' mobile technology acquires all available CARDIT information during transmission. The solution allows for instant queries to the server to check for any new CARDIT data. Our technology uses CARDIT data in the creation of XFWB messages to send to cargo systems. In addition, the solution maps consigned receptacles to XFHL messages to send to cargo platforms. Both XFWB and XFHL messages can be sent directly to the Descartes Global Security Filing™ (Descartes GSF™) system for filing independent of a cargo system.

Descartes also has you covered into the future. Our solutions are modeled with a standard and scalable architecture to support similar initiatives as they expand worldwide.

A Seamless Data Flow to Enable Compliance​

Moving data throughout the air mail supply chain can be complex and we understand that carrier operations and systems vary. Descartes offers flexible solutions to seamlessly collect all of the data elements required for ICS2 compliance. Our technology is adaptable and can move and validate information through our own global security filing platform or via 3rd-party global security filing applications.