Freight software developers warn of delays to border systems

London, UK: Critical freight software needed for the end of the Brexit transition period in January might not be ready on time, according to the Association of Freight Software Suppliers (AFSS).

The association said its members could not guarantee delivery of the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) because HMRC officials had failed to give it details and direction for the project.

The AFSS has told HMRC that “most of its members” cannot get their software ready on time. The association said “late delivery and gaps of detailed information” were to blame. And it warned that even if members could build a “minimum viable product” in time, it was “unrealistic” to expect end users to be fully trained on it by the year’s end.

In a letter to HMRC the AFSS said: “The CDS NI programme’s current delivery plan is too late and gives AFSS members little or no time to build, test and roll out software to their customers.

“With many organisations placing change freezes to their IT systems in December and January, it may be impossible to roll out any new software. We requested that HMRC must place effort and focus into contingency plans to mitigate the disruption that will happen in the new year if core systems are not ready or fit for purpose in time.”