Majority of Border IT Systems Not Ready for Brexit

Majority of Border IT Systems Not Ready for Brexit

A report by the National Audit Office (NOA) has found that 11 of 12 ‘critical systems’ needed at the UK border are at risk of not being completed before the UK leaves the European Union.

Nearly all major projects to either replace or change key systems at the UK border are at risk of ‘not being delivered on time or to acceptable quality’ before the Brexit deadline, on 29th March 2019.

The report has said that this may have implications for many border crossings in the event of a no-deal Brexit; goods, people, services and areas of cooperation such as data-sharing and security may be affected.

It added: “The precise impact would depend on whether the UK and the EU could quickly reach an agreement on issues such as travel, data-sharing and customs arrangements before March 2019.”

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is delivering most of the systems, including the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS), which is also experiencing delays.

According to the NAO report, HMRC had originally planned to roll out the CDS by December 2018, but have now confirmed that the second phase of the system will not be ready until March 2019 at the earliest.

Systems that depend on the CDS, including the system that will provide traders with tariff classifications, have also been delayed and their success doubted.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, has said that the government has “openly accepted that the border will be sub-optimal if there is no deal with the EU on 29th March 2019.”

The uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations is reportedly to blame for the lack of preparedness demonstrated by departments responsible for the UKs border systems.

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