BIFA challenges HMRC to fix new Customs declarations system

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There is a “dangerous oversight” in the development of a new computer system that will replace an existing system used for processing Customs declarations, according to the British International Freight Association.

BIFA director general Robert Keen said that with the freight and logistics sector facing numerous challenges including the increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, and the demands that it will put on the companies that are responsible for moving the UK’s visible trade, he was concerned that progress with the development of the new system has been inconsistent.

“Our single greatest concern is that currently the development process does not involve representatives of the end-user,” said Keen. “This is a dangerous oversight because it is the end-user who will determine what will actually work in practice.”

BIFA is challenging HMRC, in conjunction with the IT sector, to identify all the problem areas and formulate a plan to resolve them, while agreeing a realistic timeframe to deliver the new system, fully developed, stable and tested. It also wants urgent consideration to be given to involve end-users to ensure that the outcomes actually work in practice.

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