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HMRC publishes CHIEF replacement timetable

[ April 2, 2014   //   ]

HM Revenue and Customs has published a provisional timetable for the replacement of its CHIEF computer. It says that building and testing a replacement service is expected to take some time once the IT supplier contract is awarded and it does not expect the replacement service to be available until January 2017 at the earliest. The aim is to issue an invitation to tender this summer.

It adds that it has met other EU countries, and the EU Commission, about whether common core requirements and components for a declaration processing service could apply across most or all EU Member States. If feasible these will be reflected in the CHIEF replacement service. The UK will share any new service architecture with all EU member states.

HMRC expects the new EU Universal Customs Code (UCC) legislation and changes will apply from May 2016 but there will be a transition period from 2016 to 2020. Some UCC changes will happen before the current CHIEF service is replaced, so HMRC will need to consider amending the service so that users can meet the new EU requirements. But in 2017 the replacement service will reflect all of the UCC changes currently expected and will also be flexible enough to reflect any future EU changes, it says.

HMRC adds that it will review the current service with customers and key stakeholders and where possible, it will add new functions – for example, better validation rules to improve data quality or automation of repayments. It expects that the vast majority of the services available now will continue and it will still be free to use.

It has not yet decided how users will access the new service; there may be a need for a new channel for export declarations, currently handled through the National Export System web channel.

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