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            october 15, 2019

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UK's logistics sector alarmed at new United Kingdom Customs system


The British International Freight Association (BIFA) that represents freight forwarding and logistics firms has expressed concerns over the progress being made with the development of a new UK Customs system that will replace an existing computer system used for processing customs declarations. BIFA recommends a delay in the implementation of the new system, according to Shipping Gazette.
BIFA director general Robert Keen said in a statement that with the freight and logistics sector facing numerous challenges including the increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, BIFA is concerned that progress with the development of the new system has been inconsistent, with periods of activity and progress, and then little concrete news.
"Our single greatest concern is that currently the development process does not involve representatives of the end-user. This is a dangerous oversight because it is the end-user who will determine what will actually work in practice, particularly as IT developers have been flagging up a lack of clarity regarding data elements," said Mr Keen.
"To give a simple example, LIC 99, which indicates a licence waiver for all types of goods, is to be replaced. The new requirement will be for a licence waiver for individual types of licences, which potentially adds complexity and makes entry completion more difficult in practice.
"Furthermore, despite initial assurances from HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) to the contrary, it is clear that the new system will require more significant changes to commercial software systems than previously envisaged.
"To give a simple example, a declaration on the current system - Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) - requires the completion of 59 data fields, whilst a declaration on the replacement system - Customs Declaration System (CDS) - will consist of 78 data fields for import and 65 for export declarations," he said.

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