Taxation and Customs Union

New customs agreements with Switzerland and Norway

On 12 March and 15 March, respectively, an important amendment of the agreements with Switzerland and Norway as regards the customs security measures was adopted. The original agreements of 2009* have been updated to maintain a high level of security and safety at the external borders and to keep the equivalence of the customs security measures in trade with third countries. The amended agreements reflect key developments of the EU legislation relevant to the risk management and security, mainly as regards the deployment of the Import Control System 2 (ICS2) of the EU.

Both amended agreements are applicable from 15 March, and create a basis for Switzerland and Norway to join the ICS2, alongside EU Member States.

ICS2 is an essential EU instrument for managing entry security and safety border controls in the customs field, supporting the EU’s customs pre-arrival security and safety programme. It enables Member States’ Customs to better assess risks on the basis of common information and thus better protect the EU and its citizens against hazardous or dangerous imports and from illegal trade.

Switzerland and Norway have agreed to apply the same security and safety measures in force in the EU, including being part of ICS2, and therefore trade between these countries and the EU will be exempt from the requirement to lodge entry and exit summary declarations. Switzerland and Norway will also apply equivalent standards for the Authorised Economic Operators, including security and safety standards and facilitation measures in respect of security-related customs controls.

This will ensure both the continuation of smooth flows of goods between both countries and the EU, and thus the facilitation of the legitimate trade and a high level of security in the supply chain.

Switzerland (EU-Switzerland Joint Committee Decision)

Norway (EU-EEA Joint Committee Decision)

ICS2

More info


*Agreement between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on the simplification of inspections and formalities in respect of the carriage of goods and on customs security measures and the Agreement on the European Economic Area - Protocol 10 on simplification of inspections and formalities in respect of carriage of goods.