UK IT systems not yet ready for Brexit

With the United Kingdom and the European Union reportedly not being able to bridge any gaps in negotiations over a deal on the future relationship between the two parties, it leaves roughly two months until the UK exits the current transition period and the frictionless trade it provides. For the UK to be able to manage the new rules that come into effect after the transition period is over, it must ensure that its IT systems are not only put in place by that time but that they are fully operational and able to handle the large bulk of tasks that are coming their way.

UK IT systems not yet ready for Brexit

The IT system will be needed in customs procedures, including the management of goods vehicle movement.

UK IT systems not yet ready for Brexit

According to a study by the Institute For Government labelled ‘Preparing Brexit: How ready is the UK?’, that particular IT system, the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) is not close to being finalised and is indeed still being tested. “Existing IT systems need to be upgraded and new ones built.

Most are ready but GVMS, critical for facilitating customs checks at the main Channel ports, is still being tested and has not yet been formally launched,” the study stated. Specifically, it explains that the system is still not able to facilitate the smooth and swift movement of goods vehicles through customs, causing significant delays and not being able to replicate a similar performance to the current configuration. “GVMS does not currently produce a single barcode that can be easily and quickly scanned, delaying the movement of goods through ports.

Full-scale end-to-end testing has yet to take place and is not due to be complete until December 4, less than a month before some firms will be expected to use it. Businesses are also worried that there is little time left for them to learn how to use the system and link it to their own internal computer systems – reducing its effectiveness,” the study explained. This is not the first IT-related niggle or setback the UK government has faced during its Brexit preparations.

Problems have already been reported with the Customs Declaration Service, with delays in the system’s development and implementation having a knock-on effect on private businesses’ own preparations. Moreover, a system called Smart Freight designed to assist Large Good Vehicle drivers know if they are eligible to move past the border into the European Union is still being beta tested. To muddle things further, the system has since then been renamed to ‘Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border’ service.

Finally, it has been reported by various outlets that the UK’s private IT supply chain has highlighted the scant amount of details provided to IT resellers and distributors in order for them to prepare and that this emboldens those who believe that Brexit will not function in the manner in which the government desires.

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