HMRC customs system rolled out to first wave of importers

Written by Richard Johnstone on 20 August 2018 in News
News

Project to deliver new system for processing declarations achieves ‘major milestone’

Credit: Ralf Roletschek/CC BY 3.0

HM Revenue and Customs has begun to roll out the new customs system that will be able to deal with the expected increase in declarations after the UK leaves the European Union.

The first stage of the rollout of the Customs Declaration Service, which has been in development since 2013-14 but was expanded after the UK voted to leave the EU, was hailed as a milestone by senior officials.

The first software release has been made available to a selected group of importers, who will start making certain types of supplementary declarations on the new system from this week, in the initial step of a three-phase rollout lasting until early next year.

The majority of importers will start using the new system from November, once their own software provider or in-house IT team has completed development of CDS-compatible software. Exporters will follow after this. CHIEF will continue to operate in parallel while the transition of traders takes place.


Related content


The CDS system, which replaces the existing Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) platform, was originally developed for importers and exporters who have to complete customs declarations when trading outside the EU, as well as to ensure the system met the latest requirements of the EU’s customs code and to allow businesses to access more of their customs information in one place.

Following the UK’s vote to leave the EU, HMRC prioritised work on the new system and developed contingency plans should CDS be delayed. These include refreshing the CHIEF IT infrastructure so it can be scaled to cope with processing a higher volume of customs declarations, and exploring other technology and process changes that may be required. 

This led to the National Audit Office stating that the revamped customs service should be ready for a no-deal outcome when the UK leaves the EU in March.

Kevin Franklin, HMRC’s customs transformation programme director, said the first release of CDS represented “a major milestone”.

“Going live on time is a great step to fully introducing the new system and is testament to the hard work of both HMRC staff and our partners," he said. “We have been engaging closely with trade representatives including software developers, community system providers [that track the movement of goods], freight forwarders, and traders themselves about CDS and we value the support from these organisations in preparing importers and exporters for the upcoming changes. Our priority now is to make sure software developers, agents and their clients are ready and we will continue to work closely with them throughout the transition.”

HMRC said that importers, exporters and agents should work with their in-house or external software developers to understand the impact that the new system will have on their business. Support for software developers includes a test service to allow customs software developers to test their solution against CDS functionality, and a developer hub for specific information on how to build compliant software.

 

About the author

Richard Johnstone is deputy and online editor of PublicTechnology sister publication Civil Service World, where this story first appeared. He tweets as @CSW_DepEd.

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

AI and public sector – combining to create high performance governments
4 October 2019

Joel Cherkis from UiPath examines why governnments should not be thinking about whether to deploy either robotics or AI – but how the two can work in unison to deliver greater benefits

AI Week: Automation makes work less taxing for HMRC
1 October 2019

In the last few years, the UK tax agency has automated millions of processes and it has ambitions to grow its use of AI into new areas. Tim East, CIO of customer compliance, tells ...

Related Sponsored Articles

Protecting what matters most: Security for growth
15 October 2019

Security can help you grow whilst protecting the very core of your organisation, writes BT 

Secure SD-WAN: Security by design
8 October 2019

BT looks at how to secure your SD-WAN services, starting with security by design 

Cloud security – it’s not black and white
1 October 2019

Nigel Hawthorn looks at how to review cloud use, report on risks and apply policies to reduce likely data loss incidents in this latest insight from BT

The CISOs and CIOs guide to securing networks in a digital age
24 September 2019

New network technology creates new risk, but the same technology is driving a step-change in how we think about security, writes BT