New requirements when shipping goods to Europe

March 15, 2023

Effective March 1, 2023, all goods shipments to European Union countries, Northern Ireland, Norway, and Switzerland must include:

  • An accurate description of each goods item in the shipment.
  • A minimum six-digit Harmonized System (HS) Code for each goods item in the shipment.
  • The recipient’s Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) Number. A recipient’s organization will have a unique EORI Number per legal entity.

The requirement only applies to goods shipments of any value, not documents. It also applies to shipments transiting through these countries enroute to other destinations. The requirement is in support of Import Control System 2, a newly implemented system designed to strengthen safety and security for European Union citizens. If a shipment is missing the required data, there is a risk that it will be held in customs until the missing data is provided.

When preparing a goods shipment, you are prompted to identify shipment details. Be sure to complete the highlighted Item Description and Harmonized System Code. As you type the Item Description, if the same item previously shipped, it will appear for you to select and carry the associated Harmonized System Code. If it is a new item that requires a Harmonized System Code, select the link for HS Code Lookup to access a U.S. Census Bureau tool to select the appropriate code.

After capturing details on the goods, select Continue to advance to a screen where you’ll specify key information regarding the sender, recipient, packaging, and COA charging instructions. As you scroll to the bottom, enter the Recipient EORI Number you obtain from your contact in the Customs Information section. If the recipient is an individual not affiliated with an organization, enter the person’s Tax ID.