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EU – Entry Summary Declarations (ENS) – the new buzz word

I am sure by now most of you , specially the shippers to Europe have heard of the new buzz word in town – ENS (Entry Summary Declarations).. The EU is talking about it, all the shipping lines are talking about it, customers are running helter skelter.. Even Mike Poverello from SARS wrote a guest article about this on this blog.. Its ok, no need to panic.. Almost all the shipping lines have sent out their version of the notifications about the ENS and how and what must be done..

For those of you who are still confused about all this, don’t worry, help is at hand in the form of some pretty descriptive text about what the ENS is and how it can be tackled..

ENS in simple terms :

  1. What is ENS – its a document that is required to be submitted to the European Union (EU) customs and this document covers all the cargoes that are to be loaded on any particular ship that is calling at the EU ports..
  2. Why do they need the ENS – they say it is to do a proper security risk assessment of the cargo that is entering the EU before it is actually loaded from wherever it is coming from.. Similar to the AMS filing for USA..
  3. Who submits the ENS – the shipping line that issues the bill of lading to the customer has to file the ENS..
  4. When must the ENS be filed – 24 hours prior to commencement of loading at the port of loading (example : Durban), however shipping lines also need time for the data to be captured and any rejections taken care of..
  5. What is the process of ENS :-
    • customer provides all relevant information (as per the requirement of the shipping line) relating to the cargo to the shipping line
    • shipping line translates all this info into their system for filing with EU customs
    • ENS is filed with EU customs
    • If for any reason the cargo is rejected, then the shipping line will receive a DNL (Do Not Load) message from EU customs
    • Such cargo receiving the DNL messages cannot be loaded on that ship and must wait for a new filing on an alternate vessel (unless the filing is done in advance and there is still time to refile the cargo that was previously declared DNL)

Simple enough isn’t it..

What do the customers need to do..?? All that the customers need to do is to follow the shipping lines requirements (with regards to info required and deadlines) and ensure that they provide all the relevant information to the shipping line well in advance so that the shipping line has the time to capture the info, submit to EU customs and ensure that all cargoes are cleared for loading.. If the customers delay their info, the shipping line submission also will be delayed which means that the customer runs the risk of their cargo not being accepted in time..

One group that will face a more practical challenge will be the groupage operators who will have to ensure that their millions of customers provide the info correctly and within time because even if 1 of those customers delay their cargo details, it could affect the entire container which means other customers in the same container who have provided the info in time also run the risk of their container being rejected for loading.. So it is in the interest of all the customers that they provide all the info in time..

A few salient points to note would be that “generic” descriptions like General Cargo, Personal Effects, in terms of cargo descriptions and “packages”, “pallets” in terms of packaging types will no longer be accepted in the manifest.. Each of these will have to be declared clearly and clarified before the cargo will be accepted..

Something else that is new to the industry here will be the EORI (ECONOMIC OPERATORS REGISTRATION AND IDENTIFICATION) number.. An EORI number means a number, unique throughout the European Community, assigned by acustoms authority or designated authority or authorities in a Member State to economic operators..

By registering, for customs purposes, in one Member State operators are able to obtain an EORI number that is valid throughout  the Community..

You can validate if your EORI number is correct by visiting below link where you can also check the EORI issuing authority for the specific EU nation..

Further helpful reading about this subject can be downloaded from below links :

If you have any queries, inputs, questions, comments about how you have done the ENS (for lines) and how you have been affected by the ENS or if the ENS has helped you in any way, we all would like to hear it.. Please either comment on this post or pop me an email.. Lets all share our experiences..

Happy ENSing..

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Hariesh Manaadiar
Hariesh Manaadiar
I am Hariesh Manaadiar, the Founder of Shipping and Freight Resource.. I have been in the dynamic shipping and freight industry for over three decades and have worked in several sectors.. I share my experiences and knowledge of the industry through this blog for those looking for help in the industry.. Stay subscribed for more free useful content about shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, supply chain and trade..


  1. Simple question that i can’t find the answer to anywhere: what does the ENS number look like. Specifically, how long can it be (so we can design a database to include it….)?

  2. So what is used as commodity description and H.S. code if “used personal effects” is not accepted? There was a personal effects code 9905 00 0000 being used for awhile, but it was never fully approved by the EU.

  3. vessel is calling Mundra port on 27.09.2017 & we have filled SI of Genoa Italy on 26.09.2017 noon hours.

    Will Shipping line charge any penalty regarding that ??
    pls revert its urgent

  4. In the ens commodity description is it mandatory to submit the relevant HS code? If yes, at what level is the code submitted and what if the consignee declares a different item when clearing cargo?

  5. very informative… thanks dear.

    i know this is a very silly questions. but who pays the ENS amount. shipper or the consignee?

    • Not a silly question at all.. It is a valid question.. In my personal opinion and based on feedback from a few shipping lines, the ENS Fee is charged alongside the Freight and BAF (the ocean component).. So basically the ENS Fee moves with and is manifested with the Freight charge, so it maybe assumed that the entity that pays the Freight will pay the ENS as well, irrespective of the Incoterms used..

      There has been a big discussion about this in the Incoterms discussion forum in LinkedIn..


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