Effective from March 1, 2023, the European Union (EU), Switzerland and Norway have implemented a new security and safety programme under EU’s Import Control System 2 (ICS2) requiring all inbound and transit air mails containing goods to undergo preliminary pre-departure customs assessment at the origin of posting.

Senders need to submit electronic customs declaration for mail items containing goods destined to or transited via the EU, Switzerland and Norway.

Senders are required to provide a local mobile phone number that can receive SMS, so that if necessary they can receive messages issued by Hongkong Post on the request by overseas customs authorities related to customs clearance of the mail items and take follow up actions.

What is ICS2?

The Import Control System 2 (ICS2) is the EU’s IT system created to collect data about all goods entering the EU prior to their arrival. From 1 March 2023, the overseas customs authorities will conduct preliminary pre-departure customs assessment at the origin of posting prior to the departure of all inbound and transit air mails containing goods destined to/transited via EU, Switzerland and Norway.

Lists of destinations requiring submission of electronic customs declaration

European Union (EU) member states

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden

Other destinations

Norway, Switzerland

Please click here to view the list of destinations to / transited via the above countries.

What do sender need to do?

The sender needs to provide the following information while making electronic customs declaration:

All categories of mail containing goods which do not come with accurate electronic customs information will be subject to delay during customs clearance, may not be processed or may be returned. Senders should provide the return address and a local mobile phone number that can receive SMS. Items returned without sender’s information will be destroyed with no postage refund.

What is Harmonized System code?

The Harmonized System code (HS code) is the standard number of various goods. Sender can search the standard name and HS code of the goods through the website of Census and Statistics Department (https://www.censtatd.gov.hk/en/index_hs_code.html) or online posting platforms. Senders shall ensure that the HS Code provided matches with the declared content.

What is a good product description for customs declaration?

To state a good product description for customs declaration, the following information should be considered:

Examples of good product description and HS code

Product description HS code of item
(minimum 6-digit)
Poor Good
Food Cakes
Barbecue sauce
190590
210390
Parts Metal Working Machinery
Automobile Brakes
820291
870830
Gifts Dolls
Remote Control cars
950300
950300
Accessories Chargers for tablets
Plastic cases for tablets
850440
420231
Clothes Men's Shirts
Lingerie
610620
610892
Electronics Computers
Mobile Phones
847130
851712

What should I do after receiving the SMS message from Hongkong Post?

Senders are required to provide a local mobile phone number that can receive SMS, so that if necessary they can receive messages issued by Hongkong Post on the requests by overseas customs authorities related to customs clearance of the mail items and take follow up actions. Senders are reminded that Hongkong Post will not embed hyperlinks in the related SMS requesting for any personal information. Members of the public could contact Hongkong Post enquiry hotline 2921 2222 direct if they have any doubts on the SMS received.

What is the return arrangement for items not fulfilling customs requirement?

If a mail item fails the pre-departure customs assessment at the origin of posting, a SMS message with passcode will be issued by Hongkong Post requesting the sender to collect the returned items and postage refund at the designated post office.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Customs Information Supplement

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