February 9, 2023

New Shipping Requirements to the EU

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HTS classifications and adequate product descriptions are particularly important for merchants shipping to the European Union. From March 1, 2023, new requirements go into effect for the EU’s advance cargo information system, the Import Control System 2 (“ICS2”) under Release 2. These new requirements impact all goods imported into the EU by air- cargo, express, standard, and postal.

The following guidance pertains to HTS classification and product description requirements. All FlavorCloud merchants should review their existing products to ensure each product shipped internationally via FlavorCloud contains an HTS code and an adequate product description, otherwise significant negative impacts will likely occur. FlavorCloud is pleased to support our merchants in providing HTS classification assistance in the event they’ve not yet been identified and classified by your organization.

The European Commission Taxation and Customs Union provides additional key details on their ICS2 portal and Release 2 here.

As of March 1, 2023, shipments to the EU without HTS classifications and adequate product descriptions will be rejected at the border and not allowed entry. These requirements are already standard in most destinations, and such issues at the border will cause significant import and delivery delays, additional costs, degraded customer experience, and possible additional customs scrutiny.

Adequate Product Descriptions

For product descriptions with any new and existing products in your product master cart, please review to ensure each item has sufficient details and ample product descriptions, material compositions, and clear intended application details. This is important and required so customs has adequate information to review each item and ensure proper HTS was applied. Without adequate descriptions, operational impacts, including significant import and delivery delays, additional costs, degraded customer experience, and possible additional customs scrutiny are guaranteed to repeat.”

All merchants/brands need to use a succinct product description to provide enough detail for customs to understand the product. It is important that the description is not vague or generic or it will likely warrant further scrutiny. This is especially important for commodities that tend to face more scrutiny i.e., products for human consumption, cosmetics, chemicals, health supplements, etc. Along with an accurate HTS, the succinct and thorough product description greatly reduces customs delays.

For further reference, the EU has published guidance on what constitutes adequate product descriptions as well as acceptable product terms; these can be found here:


Trilby Rajna

Head of Content & PR at FlavorCloud, with a passion for combining creativity and data. Please get in touch with any PR requests, relevant guest post pitches, and collaboration ideas at trilby.rajna[at]favorcloud[dot]com.

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