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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions | Alternative 3rd party ENS filing

3. Alternative 3rd party ENS filing

Frequently asked questions on the Entry Summary Declaration (ENS)

  1. Basic principles
  2. Different scenarios
  3. Alternative 3rd party ENS filing
  4. Diversion
  5. Amendments to ENS
  6. Do not load (DNL) messages
  7. Import Control System
  8. Economic Operator Registration & Information (EORI)
  9. Miscellaneous ENS matters

Frequently asked questions on the lodgement of Exit Summary Declarations (EXS) (Article 182 b CC)

  1. Basic principles
  2. Lodging of EXS: Different scenarios
  3. Amendments to ENS
  4. Release messages
  5. Shipsupply

 

Frequently asked questions on the Entry Summary Declaration (ENS)
3. Alternative 3rd party ENS filing

 

Q3.1 - Can parties (other than a freight forwarder) that issue their own (house) bills of lading (referred to in the international liner shipping industry as NVOCC) file an ENS instead of the ocean carrier?Top

Yes, provided that it is with the knowledge and consent of the ocean carrier. Firstly, European law does not distinguish between "NVOCCs" and forwarders that merely act as agents. Second, the European security legislation explicitly allows any 3rd party to file - with its knowledge and consent - the ENS instead of the carrier. This follows from Article 36b (3) and (4) CC. Para (3) makes the party that brings the goods in to the Comunity (i.e. the carrier) ultimately responsible that an ENS is filed. Para (4), however, states that "Notwithstanding the obligation [in para 3], the [ENS] may be lodged instead by: (a) the person in whose name the person referred to in paragraph 3 acts; or (b) any person who is able to present the goods in question or to have them presented to the competent customs authority; or (c) a representative of one of the persons referred to in paragraph 3 or points (a) or (b)".

However, as noted, the filing of an ENS by any party other than the ocean carrier always requires the ocean carrier's knowledge and consent. How the ocean carrier's consent to a 3rd party ENS filing is to be evidenced and under which conditions and terms, e.g. time for submission of the ENS, the shipments involved, and the duration of the filing arrangement, are subject to contractual agreement between the commercial parties.

Q3.2 - If Carrier A contractually agrees with NVOCC B that B is to lodge the ENS for the shipments B controls, does that mean that then B must always file ENS for all shipments controls instead of Carrier A? Or is B free to file only ENS for certain shipments B controls? Or should this be part of the contractual arrangement between A and B where it is specified when B can or must file?Top

Issues such as the time of the alternative ENS filing, which shipments to be covered by the alternative filing etc. are to be contractually agreed between the ocean carrier and the 3rd party.

Q3.3 - Are freight forwarders obligated to file ENS for those shipments for which they have issued (house) bills of lading?Top

The EU cargo security legislation is based on the premise that only one ENS may be lodged for each shipment. The ocean carrier is responsible that an ENS filing is made, but may give its consent that a 3rd party, e.g. a freight forwarder, files instead. In that case, the ocean carrier may not make an ENS for the shipment covered by the 3rd party’s alternative ENS filing. This may mean that the customs office of first entry will get advance cargo security information for a particular shipment either at the “master” Bill of Lading level (ocean carrier) or at the “house” Bill of Lading level (freight forwarder), not both.

Q3.4 - Please confirm that the ocean carrier in the case of a freight forwarder ENS filing is not responsible for the content or correctness of what is filed by the forwarder? In such cases, the ocean carrier’s responsibility is to ensure that it gets from the competent customs authority the MRN associated with the freight forwarder’s ENS filing.Top

Correct. Whoever lodges the ENS, this person (“the declarant”) is responsible for its content, accuracy and completeness. Therefore, once a 3rd party, e.g. a freight forwarder, with the carrier’s knowledge and consent, undertakes the responsibility of making the ENS filing and thus becomes the declarant, the content, accuracy and completeness of the ENS filing is the third party’s responsibility.

Notification to the ocean carrier of the MRN for the freight forwarder filing will provide evidence for the carrier that an ENS has been lodged and that the carrier’s obligation that an ENS filing is made has been met.

Q3.5 - What will happen if both the ocean carrier and a freight forwarder file ENS for the same shipment?Top

In cases where dual filings for the same shipment nonetheless occur, i.e. the carrier and a 3rd party both file an ENS for the same shipment, customs authorities may decide to use both filings for their safety and security risk analysis.

Dual filings would in any case not affect compliance with the legal requirement that an ENS is lodged, and within the specified time limits, but should, nevertheless, be avoided.

Q3.6 - Can the ocean carrier rely on the information in the master Bill of Lading to populate the data fields in the ENS? What if a freight forwarder is identified both as the shipper and the consignee in the master Bill of Lading?Top

Whoever lodges the ENS, this person (“the declarant”) is responsible for its content, accuracy and completeness. However, the declarant is only obliged to provide the information known to it at the time of lodgement of the ENS. Thus, the declarant is entitled to base its ENS filing on data provided by its trading or contracting parties. Consequently, an ocean carrier would be able to rely on the information in its master Bill of Lading to populate the data fields in the ENS even if this means that a freight forwarder is identified as both the consignor and the consignee.

Q3.7 - An ocean carrier may not know the ultimate customer/consignee as it may have no contractual relationship with that party. What must then be reported in the ENS?Top

The ocean carrier is required to provide the information “known” to it at the time of filing the ENS, meaning that the carrier can rely on the information in the master Bill of Lading to fill out the data fields in the ENS. To the ocean carrier, the “ultimate” customer/consignee is the party named in the master Bill of Lading as the consignee, i.e. the party to which the carrier has contractually agreed to deliver the goods.

Q3.8 - How would the ocean carrier know that a "Do Not Load" message has been issued for a shipment for which a freight forwarder has made the ENS filing?Top

First, the freight forwarder may only file the ENS with the ocean carrier’s knowledge and consent. Next, in its ENS filing, the freight forwarder must identify the ocean carrier with the ocean carrier’s EORI number. The freight forwarder must also include both the container number and the ocean carrier’s (master) bill of lading number in addition to its own (house) bill of lading number in its ENS filing.

Provided these data elements are included in the ENS, and provided that the ocean carrier is IT-connected to the customs office of first entry that is the only customs office that may issue an DNL message, the ocean carrier would automatically be notified not only of the MRN for the forwarder filing (which will serve as proof that the carrier’s obligation that an ENS is filed has been met) but also of any DNL messages. Based on the container and transportation document numbers included in the DNL message, the ocean carrier would be able to identify the containerised shipment that may not be loaded. Moreover it is not unrealistic to expect that if a customs administration believes that a consignment poses such a serious threat that a DNL is appropriate that they will not simply rely on the sending of an electronic message to interested parties.

Q3.9 - Annex 30A CCIP lists in Table 1 the data elements that are required in an ENS for containerised shipments. If a freight forwarder – with its knowledge and consent – files the ENS instead of the ocean carrier, where in the ENS must the forwarder provide the ocean carrier’s EORI number, its own EORI number, and the master and house bill of lading numbers?Top

When a freight forwarder files an ENS instead of the ocean carrier, it becomes “the declarant” and must include its EORI in the “declarant” data field in ENS. The EORI number of the ocean carrier with which the forwarder has contractually agreed to file the ENS must be included in the “carrier” data field. Both the ocean carrier’s (master) Bill of Lading number and the forwarder’s (house) B/L number must be included in the “transportation document number” data field. ICS explicitly allows for more than one transportation document number to be included in the ENS message (IE 315).

Q3.10 - If a 3rd party – with its knowledge and consent – files the ENS instead of the ocean carrier and the ENS filing is done to a customs office of lodgement, how will the ocean carrier know that the 3rd party has actually made the filing?Top

If the 3rd party in its ENS filing has identified the carrier and included the carrier’s EORI number and the carrier is IT-connected to the customs office of entry, then the carrier would get the MRN directly from the customs office of entry.

Notification to the carrier of the MRN, which also includes a reference to its transportation document number, will provide evidence for the carrier that an ENS has been lodged and that the carrier’s obligation under the Community legislation to ensure that an ENS filing is made has been met.

 
Security Amendment to the Customs Code

Security Amendment to the Customs Code

The security amendment to the Customs Code aims to ensure an equal level of protection through customs controls for all goods brought into or out of the EU. This section contains all the legislation, procedures and information relevant to the amendment.

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