Faq Image

Swiss World Cargo - FAQ

Import Control System 2 (ICS 2)​

ICS 2 is relevant for all cargo and mail with origin in a third (non-EU) country with destination or transit in the EU, including Switzerland. Economic Operators will have to declare safety and security data, through the Entry Summary Declaration.​

Pre-loading advance cargo and mail information will be used by the EU customs authorities to perform air cargo and mail security risk assessments to detect immediate threats to aviation security.​

Further detailed information on “Import Control System 2 (ICS 2)” can be found HERE on the website of the European Commission. ​

ICS 2 - Frequently asked questions

SWISS forwards the pre-loading data to EU customs as soon as the data has been received from the customer.

No. It is of high importance that all shipment data, which has not been received from the customer, is captured before RCS. In case, data is missing, only status FOH can be given.

  • The sooner the better – in any case data must be transmitted before hand-over to the airline.
  • The earlier the data is transmitted, the earlier a referral could be received and issues could be
    solved. This prevents unnecessary delays.

Yes, CXML can be sent. The respective EDI-provider will take care of the conversion from CXML to IATA CIMP as SWISS can only process CIMP-messages.

  • For each good in the consignment, the correct and detailed goods description will be required. Please check the list of acceptable goods description published by the EU: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/system/files/202103/guidance_acceptable_goods_description_en.pdf
  • Additionally to the correct and descriptive goods description the corresponding valid 6-digit HS code is mandatory for each item in the consignment
  • For company consignees, a tax identification number will be required (within the EU this is the EORI number; for Switzerland, it is required to enter the UID). Only private individuals or small companies not having an EORI number are exempted from this requirement
    Note: An equivalent number should also be provided for consignees in a third country;

The tax identification number shall be transmitted within the OCI-line of the FWB -and FHLmessage,
see example:

The EU requires a ZIP Code for agents, consignors and consignees for a list of countries for ICS 2 filing. Please ensure that all applicable ZIP codes are provided as well. The list of the countries can be found HERE.

As SWISS can only process IATA CIMP messages via EDI-providers , the limitation in the SWISS system is as follows:
1 HS-code in the FWB-message
up to 9 HS-codes in a single FHL-message
In case of consolidation , the most prominent HS-code shall be declared in the FWB-message

  •  The harmonized commodity code shall be declared in the rating part of the FWB-message:



  •  The harmonized commodity code shall be declared here in the FHL-message:


No. In case HS codes are missing, the shipment is not ready and cannot be accepted (RCS). The forwarding agent is responsible to provide correct and complete HS codes. Additionally, the handling agent would not be in the position to decide, if codes are missing or complete.

No.  All data needs to be transmitted electronically. Customers, who are not able to add HS codes in their system, can use the SWISS eBooking tool to transmit FWB -and FHL data including HS codes and EORI numbers.

CIMP allows the transmission of nine (9) different HS codes per FHL-message.

SWISS only accepts one single HS code per FWB-message.

  • No, forwarders, who wish to do self-filing to EU customs, need to contact their local sales representative for further clarification
  •  As a perquisite, the self-filer has to add: 

- SWISS EORI number as identification for the transporting carrier in their filing towards the ICS2

- add the special handling code “SFL” in the FWB indicating self-filing has been done

-add as Other Customs Information the declarant DCL-information with the EORI foreseen as self filer, for example OCI/DE/DCL/T/DE1234567

Yes, shipments with referrals shall not be processed until the issue is solved.

Yes, in case of referrals the whole MAWB will be stopped.

Yes, shipments with referrals shall not be processed or flown/trucked until the issue is solved.

For authority reasons (like a PLACI referral), SWISS (and therefore the handling agents contracted by SWISS) will be forced to open the pouch in order to capture and file the missing information to EU/CH-Customs.

  •  No, that is not completely correct. There is an option for airlines, to postpone final starting date until 30 June 2023; from 1st July 2023 airlines have to transmit complete data required by ICS2 regime (release 2) – including the HAWB-data. SWISS has applied to use this so called deployment window.
  •  For self-filers there is another deployment window, which is from 1st July 2023 till 2nd October 2023

Yes, SWISS received the approval for a delayed start. SWISS wants to start filing effective 1st June 2023.

Yes, in our eBooking tool it is is already possible to capture 8 HS codes per FHL rating line; we expand the possibilities to 9 HS codes and to capture EORI/UID by 1st June 2023.

Please review the description, by clicking HERE. 

Yes, from CARDIT Version 2.1 upwards.

All versions will be accepted, if includes AR flag (from version 2.1).


No, without AR Flag, SWISS cannot process the mail bags.

No. An AR flag shall indicate, that the confirmation is received.

Process of late referrals is in a preparation phase and will be shared with Swiss WorldCargo, when finalized.

No, SWISS cannot accept receptacles with open referrals.

You will be contacted by Cargo Offer Development Team in order to re-view your processes and find the way to make them ICS2 compliant.

In order to be able to file the mail information to the customs authorities, we need to have all the data in our vMail system. That means, all the mail has to be scanned as “Received”, where CARDIT and AR flag availability check is performed and planned for the flight in vMail. Without these steps customs filing is not possible.

No, there is no exemption. If courier shipments are sent as cargo, cargo regulations as above apply.

Yes, all documents will be provided, training can be planned on request.