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ECICS Conference

The European Commission has held a conference and a working group on customs and chemicals.

Customs and Chemicals:

Towards a new European Customs Inventory of Chemical Substances

Brussels , Albert Borschette Conference Centre
on 20-21 January 2005.

The ECICS database is an essential customs tool for anyone dealing with chemical substances in international trade (legislators, industries, traders, customs, tax, health, environment, consumer and statistical authorities), since it provides an easy means of finding the customs classification and the CAS number of goods, and thus of establishing the customs duties, other charges and non-tariff measures applicable to the import and export of chemical substances.

Furthermore, since it is translated into all the languages of the European Union, it is a valuable dictionary for translators, interpreters, journalists and scientists.

ECICS is currently undergoing renovation.

Apart from simply creating a new database, it is the ideal opportunity to discuss new possibilities and concepts in the trade and the control of chemical substances. Particular attention is notably given to

  • electronic customs procedures
  • trade facilitation
  • traceability in the context of environment, health, fraud and security
  • complex products and articles or apparatus containing dangerous chemicals
  • new languages
  • co-operation and communication.

This conference gathered about 130 participants from all EU Member States, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Norway and Switzerland, from the European Commission, European Chemicals Bureau, European Environment Agency, European Medicines Agency, OLAF, Customs, Customs laboratories, Ministries of Environment, Health, Economy, Trade, Export control, Agriculture, International Organization for Standardization, World Customs Organization, World Health Organization, CEFIC and industries

Main conclusions

  • Firstly the participants expressed a real satisfaction for the organization of this very open conference and to be consulted in the renovation of ECICS.
  • Stakeholders expressed real interests and needs, amongst them,
  • the facilitation of trade by giving a legal value to the customs classifications in ECICS and by gathering/simplifying the numerous formalities necessary in the import/export of chemicals (eCustoms, single window, one stop shop), and
  • the protection of the society, environment, health and budget by improving and extending ECICS and by using European or international identifiers in legislations and customs clearance.
  • Complex products and articles or apparatus containing dangerous chemicals are a difficult issue, they need a reliable classification in legislations and customs clearance but they go far beyond the traditional content of ECICS.
  • New languages should be added as soon as possible, those of new Member States but also those of neighbouring countries.
  • ECICS will be redesigned and extended as soon as possible, considering mainly two types of users: on one hand, the European Commission, the Customs Code Committee and the Customs laboratories which need an extensive and detailed source of information on chemicals and, on the other hand, Customs offices and economic operators which need less but reliable information.
  • The continuous update of ECICS in the future, on a long term basis, is of paramount importance.
  • Several similar databases are currently in use or in project but with different goals and contents; a close co-operation will start to exchange data, to link applications and to avoid duplication of work and divergences.

Should you wish to comment or take part in the discussions, please send an electronic mail to . Any request for further information may also be sent by email to this address.

Background Information

What is ECICS ?pdf(18 kB) Choose translations of the previous link 

Why to use ECICS ?pdf(23 kB) Choose translations of the previous link 

Conference documents can be found on this page