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By the Book: Anything to declare?

The deadline has already come and gone for companies to abide by new European Union (EU) regulations Entry Summary Declaration.


Shipping companies are getting to grips with tough new regulations on the movement of cargo into ports in the European Union. The new Entry Summary Declaration rules, which actually came into force on January 1st, but had a six-month compliance window, are now in full effect – and it is essential they are fully followed if carriers are to accept cargo loads.


The new rules centre on full accurate Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) of the contents of all shipments bound for EU ports fully 24 hours before cargo is loaded onto the vessel. The ENS will include bill of lading number, shipper and consignee name and address. Introduced with safety in mind, the rules are appropriately strict: not only does it apply to shipments coming into the EU, but to any cargo transferred to its final destination via an EU port – so-called Foreign Cargo Remaining on Board (FROB).

The emphasis
is on the shipping company or vessel owners to ensure an ENS is lodged, but the consignees – the shipping company’s customers – must actually provide the documentation. Many shipping companies have already warned customers that cargo simply will not be loaded unless the documentation is present and complete. Third-party freight forwarder can file an ENS, but only with the knowledge and consent of the ocean carrier – and that they assume responsibility for the correct information.


Shortsea shipments – i.e. shipments that start and end within the EU borders – have less stringent rules, but documents need to be submitted two hours prior to departure. Failure to comply could result in delays at customs, the imposition of fines and the possibility of additional charges from the carrier.


For more information, as well as downloadable PDFs, visit the European Commission website:




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