The Community legislation requires that the ENS ‘...shall be lodged by the person who brings the goods, or who assumes responsibility for the carriage of the goods into the customs territory of the Community’. This means the operator of the active means of transport on or in which the goods are brought into the customs territory of the Community is responsible for the filing of an ENS. In the deep sea container context, this is held to be the ocean carrier that issues bill of lading for the carriage of the goods into the Community.
However, in the case of vessel sharing (VSA) or similar contracting arrangements, the obligation to file an ENS lies with that carrier who has contracted, and issued a bill of lading or an air waybill, for the carriage of the goods into the Community on the vessel or aircraft subject to the arrangement. So, each party which issues bill of lading for carriage of goods on the vessel is deemed to be the ocean carrier and must file the ENS for the containers it is having carried on the vessel.
For short sea shipping, the same rules normally apply, but in the case of “combined transport” (e.g. a truck carried on a ferry) where the means of transport entering the customs territory of the Community (the ferry) is only transporting another means of transport which, after entry into the customs territory of the Community, will move by itself as an active means of transport (the truck), the obligation to file an ENS lies with the operator of that other active means of transport (the trucking company). The vessel operator must always, however, provide the Arrival Notification. (see Q1.13)