The fallback procedure is designed to ensure freight forwarding and logistics businesses can continue to operate effectively when the UK Customs digital clearance system known as CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) fails due to faults or scheduled maintenance. The procedure will also come into effect whenever there is a failure in the link between CHIEF and Cargo Community System (CCS-UK).
The fallback procedure will be triggered by an electronic broadcast from CCS-UK, enabling importers and exporters to continue to store data electronically rather than switch to paper-based processes that currently operate whenever there is a failure in digital communications.
“ediEnterprise software has been upgraded to store all consignment data in accordance with the guidelines established by the fallback procedure,” says Darren Matthews, Business Development Analyst with CargoWise. “The ediEnterprise platform is also capable of automatically highlighting discrepancies and reconciling files when the data link is re-established.”
These functions will enable exporters to continue to send messages, obtain a customs authorisation reference number, and in some cases obtain a “good-to-go” release from CCS-UK, depending on their level of privilege. Export agents will also be able to query the community database for export consignments, and receive notification that their consignments have been held or released within the fallback procedure.
On the import side, the fallback procedure will replace the existing electronic process that requires significant manual reconciliation, introduce new “community handling codes” that corresponds with the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s “special handling codes”, while it accepts and profiles all the declarations sent during outages so that these can be cleared under fallback and held for reconciliation.
“We are delighted that our software is ready to replace the existing cumbersome and labour intensive processes that freight forwarders are forced to adopt whenever there is a system outage,” says Matthews. “In order to take advantage of the new fallback procedure when it goes live in 2013, agents should take the opportunity now to familiarise themselves with the new capabilities.”