The movement of excise goods around the UK and throughout Europe could grind to a halt if the forthcoming introduction of the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) encounters significant teething troubles, according to the United Kingdom Warehousing Association.
EMCS is a computer system which will link over 150,000 traders in 27 national administrations across the EU and replaces the current paper Administrative Accompanying Document and paper W8 for intra UK duty suspended movements.
It comes into effect on 1st January 2011. Testing of the new system is scheduled to begin on 20th December. UKWA says this will leave little time to check the readiness of the UK to channel EMCS messages.
Roger Williams, UKWA’s chief executive officer, said: “It seems incredible that with the wide variety of participants affected by such a fundamental change to the way excise business is done across the EU, we strongly feel that a longer testing period is needed to ensure that any problems with the system are addressed before the go live doubt.”
“We would urge the HMRC to consider delaying the launch of EMCS to such time as it is clear that any glitches in the system have been addressed.”