Hauliers to test new customs IT system

London, UK: The HMRC is due to invite hauliers to take part in remote-user testing of the new post-Brexit customs IT system as trade associations warn that time is running out for everything to be up and running.

According to a memo, seen by Bloomberg News, hauliers will be part of the tests over the next few months for the new Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS), late in the day as there are just four months until the end of the transition period.

The GVMS will be used to administer the movement of goods across borders: between the movement of goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain and back, from the beginning of next year, and then all UK-EU goods from July 2021. It is intended to allow trucks to declare goods ahead of reaching the border, allowing for smoother traffic flow, particularly at busier ports such as Dover.

According to the memo, HMRC says it wants to start the first round of testing “ASAP” due to the shortage of time. The tests will involve hour-long video calls where hauliers try prototypes and give their feedback. HMRC insists that a partnership approach is necessary.

However, the Road Haulage Association points out that the industry is still not clear how or if the government’s planned IT system will work and whether it will be ready for 1 January 2021.

“Firms still don’t know what’s required of them to move goods across borders,” said RHA policy director Rod McKenzie.

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