Products & Solutions

Air Logistics - Import control systems (ICS)

BT Smart Customs


Solve your security obligations

BT Smart Customs offers a sophisticated solution, enabling participants within the logistics chain to communicate with EU member states and to comply with the requirements of the Import Control System (ICS).

The service allows our customers to satisfy the EU requirements without incurring significant development effort and cost to enhance existing operational systems.

Key benefits

Comply with regulations with minimum effort

The BT Smart Customs service provides you with the following benefits:

  • It removes the need for you to interact directly with each of the EU member states.
  • You don’t have to cater for all of the local variations that have been implemented.
  • Use of industry standard messages reduces the necessity for you to incur additional development expense.
  • It also means that data only needs to be captured once, reducing manual effort and minimising the likelihood of errors being introduced.
  • You don’t need to invest in expensive hardware or other equipment.
  • You can easily create, amend or add data to your ICS declarations, if necessary.
  • You can access full visibility of current and historical declaration information via a standard web browser.
  • You can be notified if deadlines are approaching or if problems have been encountered, so that you can take appropriate action.
  • We are committed to ensuring that our service remains up-to-date, allowing you to maintain compliance as regulatory changes are introduced.

Key features and benefits

Think Smart

BT Smart Customs will help you to file your ICS declarations on time, to the right place and in the right format.

Simplify your connectivity

  • You connect to us and we provide the communications to all of the EU member states.
  • BT Smart Customs takes data from commonly exchanged industry standard messages to create the core components of the ICS declarations.
  • You connect to us and we provide the communications to all of the EU member states.
  • BT Smart Customs takes data from commonly exchanged industry standard messages to create the core components of the ICS declarations.
  • From the data supplied, we decide which customs authority needs to be notified and determine the appropriate format.
  • Where possible, we apply any local variations to the standard ICS rules.

Keep track of your Entry Summary Declarations (ENSs)

  • Where possible, we apply any local variations to the standard ICS rules.
  • All you need is a standard web browser to access our comprehensive application.
  • Through the web application you can view your declarations, create new ones, add or amend data.
  • Real-time views allow you to see the current status of your flights or consignments and to identify whether deadlines are approaching.
  • You can view your declarations and find out whether they have been accepted or, if not, why they have been rejected by the appropriate member state.

Take advantage of our extensive support facilities

  • An audit trail of events is maintained, allowing you to see the full history of your declarations.
  • Our reports offer a variety of support and management statistics.
  • Additional helpdesk support provides a single interface across the various parties. 

Detailed description

Manage all your ICS requirements in one place

In order to comply with ICS, an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) must be submitted to Customs at least 4 hours before flight arrival or at wheels up for short haul flights. All consignments on a flight must be reported at the first port of entry into the EU, irrespective of where they will be offloaded. This applies, even if the aircraft is only making a technical stop. The purpose of the ENS is to allow Customs to perform a safety and security risk analysis on the goods prior to arrival in the EU.

Whilst a standard set of processes for ICS have been defined, individual member states may have implemented the processes in different ways or have specific additional requirements which must be met. This makes it very difficult to support all of the variations that apply.

BT Smart Customs solves this problem by taking in the ICS data from our customers using standard messages, such as FWBs, FHLs and FFMs, and formatting the ENS declarations in the correct way for the member state at the first port of entry. We can also pass MRN information back via CSN messages.

Where required data cannot be provided via the standard messages, we offer a web application to allow you to enter that information, to make amendments and to monitor the status of your declarations. You can see how much work is outstanding for a particular flight or consignment and how much time you have left before the declarations must be submitted.

Email alerts can be configured to send out warnings to nominated recipients when deadlines are drawing near or to inform you if problems have been encountered.

ICS also requires you to notify Customs when a flight is diverted or, in some cases, when goods have arrived. Smart Customs provides web facilities to enable you to support these requirements.

Who should buy

An essential service for carriers, ground handlers and freight forwarders

This service is ideally suited to carriers of all sizes who transport goods into or through the EU. It would also be of benefit to ground handlers who are required to make ICS declarations on behalf of the carriers that they handle and also to freight forwarders who wish to make their own ICS declarations, with the approval of the carrier.


This product is available worldwide.

Why BT

Over thirty-five years of experience

BT Air Logistics specialises in connecting you with your community of suppliers, customers and regulatory authorities. With more than 35 years of experience serving major airlines, freight forwarders and ground handlers in 130 countries, BT has pioneered the use of air cargo solutions that ease the exchange of information, conduct essential customs processes and improve visibility across your entire supply chain.

BT has been providing shipment communications between air carrier organisations and the UK Customs Service for more than 10 years. We have also delivered customs solutions in other parts of the world, as well as now interfacing to the EU member states.

We have earned a reputation for innovation and quality of service, providing business-focused systems to serve your cargo management and compliance needs.