An update on our progress towards CDS
This update was issued to customers on 6 October 2018. Development is ongoing and therefore the situation, and our progress, is constantly changing.
As you are no doubt aware, HMRC are replacing CHIEF with a new system called CDS (the Customs Declaration Service).
This is mainly because the information needed to complete customs declarations in the UK is changing under the Union Customs Code (the UCC).
This involves not only significant changes to all declarations but also the way in which data is exchanged electronically with the new customs system and with Community Service Providers (CSPs).
We have been working hard for more than a year now modifying Sequoia to support these huge changes.
HMRC have so far focussed almost exclusively on supplementary declarations for goods removed from a customs warehouse. Although important, these are a very small proportion of the declarations completed by most of our customers, who are forwarders and/or customs brokers, moving goods through the frontier.
Therefore, the minimum we need in Sequoia before releasing it to you is that it allows you to submit your import declarations to CDS and that these result in updates to the CSP inventory to allow release of your goods. We will not place our customers livelihoods at risk.
Almost none of this functionality is available (even in the test system) yet, although HMRC continue to state that all remaining import functionality will be ‘live’ in November.
It is only once the inventory linking interface is available that CSPs can begin development and/or testing of the complex and critical functionality involved. This is not likely to be a quick process.
There are also other areas which are important which are not available, working properly or even decided yet, such as:
- the ability to amend a declaration (which uses a complex method of ‘pointers’);
- the method by which errors are communicated to the declarant (which also uses the complex ‘pointers’ mechanism which isn’t working properly);
- the format and layout of declaration and acceptance reports etc;
- A lot of standing data and business rules have not been uploaded and/or tested in CDS yet. Our experience is that it takes a lot of time to test and ‘tweak’ these to make them work properly.
Whilst this means that HMRCs deadlines will inevitably be missed, rest assured that CHIEF will continue to be used for declarations until CDS is working properly and all traders have successfully migrated across to CDS. We will continue our development until we are satisfied that everything is working well and meets your requirements and we’ll keep you updated on our progress. We have communicated all of our concerns to HMRC and are working closely with them to ensure the success of this project.
This update was issued to customers on 6 October 2018.