More than 50 of the organizations focused on the European logistics market gathered in Brussels, Belgium, this week to discuss the upcoming European Union (EU) customs filing mandates. The event was hosted by Descartes Systems Group, a global logistics network company. Descartes, along with recently acquired Porthus, addressed the security and automation of shipments into the EU and ways for shippers to comply with the new regulations.
“Europe is one of the next regions where customs compliance mandates are impacting global trade and every mode of transportation and every participant in the global supply chain is looking carefully at their role in compliance,” said Jonathan Wasserman, senior vp-global trade compliance solutions at Descartes.
“Together with our customers’ Global Customs Working Group, our United by Design partners, and using the domain knowledge from our acquisitions of Porthus and Dexx, we are working collectively to ensure that our customers are well-informed and prepared for the upcoming EU regulations as they are mandated,” he added.
The EU has been working for several years to convert paper customs filing into electronic filings, drafting the electronic customs multiannual strategic plan (MASP) in the hopes of creating a paperless customs process.
“The electronic customs project initiated by the European Commission (EC) aims to replace paper format customs procedures with EU wide electronic ones, thus creating a more efficient and modern customs environment,” the EC said in a filing regarding the project late last year. “Current legislation on customs procedures and processes is rather complex and is still based on paper declarations, and although all Member States have electronic customs systems, they are not inter-connected. The Commission considers that, with simplified customs legislation, streamlined customs processes and procedures and convergence of IT systems, traders would save money and time in their business transactions with customs.”
As part of the program, Descartes showcased its Import Control System (ICS) and how it impacts both global and European operations.
The ICS is the electronic pre-arrival security declaration system for the importation of goods into the European Union. In this system, goods destined for the EU are subject to a risk analysis prior to arrival. The system is scheduled to be launched progressively country by country and a period of enforcement begins on Jan. 1, 2011, when all organizations moving goods into Europe will have to comply.
Among the attendees were importers, customs brokers, carriers, freight forwarders, non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) and shippers.