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Ulster traders need to be CDS-ready, warns computer boss

[ November 5, 2021   //   ]

Freight software company Forward Solutions is warning exporters to Northern Ireland that HMRC is phasing out its CHIEF system for submitting import declarations for goods from outside the UK in favour of the new CDS system from 31 October.

Although full introduction of CDS for mainland UK trade has been postponed  until 30 September 2022 for import declarations and 31 March 202 for export declarations – this does not apply to Northern Ireland trade.

Managing director, Richard Litchfield, said: “It is vital that anyone wanting to ship goods into or out of Northern Ireland, after the end of October, switches to CDSNI. It is the only option for declaring movements of goods in and out of Northern Ireland and without it all movements will be halted.

“We have been planning for this change for some time, and we are one of only a handful of freight software providers that will be CDSNI-ready. This means that all our customers who rely on trade with Northern Ireland will experience a smooth transition away from CHIEF. Our specialist IT systems, adapted for the move away from CHIEF, will enable customers to keep on moving goods in and out of Northern Ireland as normal.”

The only other option is the Trader Support Scheme (TSS NI) but this is not suitable for more than occasional declarations and does not have full functionality, says Richard Litchfield.

Steve Spence, application manager at Forward Solutions customer Denholm Global Logistics, added: “Forward Solutions is always at least one step ahead of the post-Brexit changes. Our ability to move goods into and out of Northern Ireland is an important part of our business. Knowing that we have the right IT solutions in place ahead of time is extremely reassuring.”

Forward recently announced half a million-pound investment in redeveloping and reengineering its product portfolio including a new User Interface (UI) to be rolled out in 2022.  

It is also revamping the presentation of its Forward Office software to a suite of eight products designed to meet different customer needs.  Packages now start from a Forward Core – essential services package with additions such as integrated customs clearance, mobile apps and API integration.

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