The government has warned of a “major incident” impacting declarations submitted on the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) and the Goods Vehicle Movement System (GVMS), leading to disruption for roll-on, roll-off (Ro-Ro) freight entering Britain. 

An ongoing software issue on CDS means that some declarations are not being automatically processed by GVMS in the normal way, leading many trucks to be diverted to inland border facilities (IBFs) to have their declarations manually processed, rather than being able to travel immediately from the port of entry to their destination point.  

Government reports that an “issue with GBP rate conversion” is causing customs values to be absent in submitted declarations, even if traders have correctly submitted these. This error in CDS is preventing a Goods Movement Reference (GMR) being automatically validated in GVMS upon arrival in GB.  

The major consequence of the customs value being absent is that duty liability on affected imports is not being calculated, leading to the need for vehicles to be diverted to IBF until the issue is resolved. 

As an interim measure, HMRC is advising declarants to resubmit their import declaration in GBP, though this will require some manual conversion calculations. .  

The incident has nothing to do with the introduction of new documentary requirements for imports that were bought in yesterday via the government’s new Border Target Operating Model (BTOM). 

As import entries for goods arriving via GVMS locations are pre-lodged ahead of the goods arrival, these entries will be the most impacted.

This is primarily an issue with CDS software and not user errors. It might be that an update to remove the 999L waiver code for imports may have inadvertently caused this issue with the Exchange Rate Service (XRS) within CDS. Though as today is the first day of the month, the rates would have been updated anyway. 

Government advice 

The government is continually posting updates about the issue here.  

The Joint Customs Consultative Committee (JCCC) wrote to industry today to advise that, until the currency issue is fixed, traders can “resubmit their declaration using GBP” to avoid disruption. 

“Remedial action is currently being investigated and tested before being implemented,” it said.  

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