Forwarding, Freight News

Freight industry faces Monday morning blues next Tuesday

[ April 28, 2016   //   ]

Will the freight industry be facing its own ‘Millenium Bug’ when it returns to work on Tuesday 3 May? Peter MacSwiney, chairman of IT specialists ASM says that a number of changes to the CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) computer system will take effect from that date. He says: “This will prevent forwarders making certain types of entries or change the way they enter certain goods, for instance goods entered into CFSP (Customs Freight Simplified Procedures), will find that, in some circumstances, these no longer require a supplementary declaration, Interestingly, we currently don’t know what ‘no longer required’ actually means.”

“If forwarders enter a declaration containing a supplementary declaration will it be rejected by CHIEF? In essence will it work or not? There have been attempts to test this but you can’t run two versions of the same software on a machine with two different dates on it – so currently there’s no conclusive answer. For safety’s sake, forwarders using software for Customs entries should talk with their software supplier to verify what will work after 3 May … so there is not much time available.”

In addition, Community Service Providers (CSPs) will also need to make changes to their systems. These will mainly affect transhipments; the removal of goods between transit shed or the port and external temporary storage facilities should continue to work seamlessly, although changes to guarantees may be required. It’s doubtful that all the CSPs will have these system changes in place by 3 May, which means users will still be able to carry on as they are right now, although in some cases that might not be compliant.

MacSwiney continues: “It’s always a problem when changes are made to computer systems without any reference to the business processes they underpin, and this is what is happening here. The Cargo Community User Group (CCS UK) who represent the air community are unhappy with the revised procedures required for transhipments as it requires the move from the External Transit Shed Facility (ETSF) back to an on-airport transit shed to be covered by a New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) declaration. Those that are familiar with NCTS will understand the additional burden. As a result, ASM is discussing, with HMRC, ways of continuing business as usual until we can design a more suitable and streamlined process and deploy it.”


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