Launched the year Netscape Navigator was born, the UK's CHIEF customs system finally has a retirement date

Replacement in preparation for 10 years, but not quite ready to replicate legacy functionality

The UK's Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system is set to retire in 2023, according to a National Audit Office, 10 years after plans to phase it out began and 29 years after it came into service.

CHIEF was due to be replaced by the IBM-built Customs Declaration Service (CDS) in 2019, but delays and Brexit have forced Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to squeeze more life out of the legacy system.

Dating back to 1994, the year Netscape Navigator launched, CHIEF is set to end its service by the close of June 2023, according to a National Audit Office (NAO) report titled "The UK border: Post UK–EU transition period".

"HMRC plans to complete key CDS development work by January 2022, which would allow HMRC to transition all users onto CDS. It plans to do this in a phased approach; CHIEF will close to import declarations in September 2022 and close to export declarations in March 2023, allowing CHIEF to be retired by the end of June 2023," it said.

As the dates were communicated externally to the industry in August, most traders connecting to the CDS will have to change their systems as special arrangements designed to ease the impact of Brexit are lifted.

"The current plan will see most traders having to change their customs IT systems at around the same time as customs easements are removed and full import checks are implemented," the NAO said.

HMRC has made preparations to replace CHIEF with IBM's CDS since 2013. The government and Big Blue were planning to have the new system up and running by January 2019.

In 2018, the NAO said the target date to migrate all traders from CHIEF to CDS in January 2019 was "unlikely" because the platform was only due to be released a month earlier.

Last year, HMRC awarded Fujitsu £168.8m to keep CHIEF up and running – as well as 13 other HMRC applications running on its Virtual Managed Environment (VME) Platform – until 2025.

Despite this, CDS does not appear to be ready. When CHIEF is retired, CDS will "not fully replicate all CHIEF's functionality immediately and workarounds will be required for some low-volume declarations, for example on importing composite goods into GB that contain alcohol and mineral oils," the latest NAO report said.

Overall, the NAO found the government had been largely successful in putting in place its initial operating capability for the border for 1 January 2021, when Brexit became a practical reality at the end of the transition period.

"There were no major systems or process failures, which is a significant achievement given the complexity and scale of the arrangements required," the NAO said. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Florida's content-moderation law kept on ice, likely unconstitutional, court says
    So cool you're into free speech because that includes taking down misinformation

    While the US Supreme Court considers an emergency petition to reinstate a preliminary injunction against Texas' social media law HB 20, the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday partially upheld a similar injunction against Florida's social media law, SB 7072.

    Both Florida and Texas last year passed laws that impose content moderation restrictions, editorial disclosure obligations, and user-data access requirements on large online social networks. The Republican governors of both states justified the laws by claiming that social media sites have been trying to censor conservative voices, an allegation that has not been supported by evidence.

    Multiple studies addressing this issue say right-wing folk aren't being censored. They have found that social media sites try to take down or block misinformation, which researchers say is more common from right-leaning sources.

    Continue reading
  • US-APAC trade deal leaves out Taiwan, military defense not ruled out
    All fun and games until the chip factories are in the crosshairs

    US President Joe Biden has heralded an Indo-Pacific trade deal signed by several nations that do not include Taiwan. At the same time, Biden warned China that America would help defend Taiwan from attack; it is home to a critical slice of the global chip industry, after all. 

    The agreement, known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), is still in its infancy, with today's announcement enabling the United States and the other 12 participating countries to begin negotiating "rules of the road that ensure [US businesses] can compete in the Indo-Pacific," the White House said. 

    Along with America, other IPEF signatories are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Combined, the White House said, the 13 countries participating in the IPEF make up 40 percent of the global economy. 

    Continue reading
  • 381,000-plus Kubernetes API servers 'exposed to internet'
    Firewall isn't a made-up word from the Hackers movie, people

    A large number of servers running the Kubernetes API have been left exposed to the internet, which is not great: they're potentially vulnerable to abuse.

    Nonprofit security organization The Shadowserver Foundation recently scanned 454,729 systems hosting the popular open-source platform for managing and orchestrating containers, finding that more than 381,645 – or about 84 percent – are accessible via the internet to varying degrees thus providing a cracked door into a corporate network.

    "While this does not mean that these instances are fully open or vulnerable to an attack, it is likely that this level of access was not intended and these instances are an unnecessarily exposed attack surface," Shadowserver's team stressed in a write-up. "They also allow for information leakage on version and build."

    Continue reading
  • A peek into Gigabyte's GPU Arm for AI, HPC shops
    High-performance platform choices are going beyond the ubiquitous x86 standard

    Arm-based servers continue to gain momentum with Gigabyte Technology introducing a system based on Ampere's Altra processors paired with Nvidia A100 GPUs, aimed at demanding workloads such as AI training and high-performance compute (HPC) applications.

    The G492-PD0 runs either an Ampere Altra or Altra Max processor, the latter delivering 128 64-bit cores that are compatible with the Armv8.2 architecture.

    It supports 16 DDR4 DIMM slots, which would be enough space for up to 4TB of memory if all slots were filled with 256GB memory modules. The chassis also has space for no fewer than eight Nvidia A100 GPUs, which would make for a costly but very powerful system for those workloads that benefit from GPU acceleration.

    Continue reading
  • GitLab version 15 goes big on visibility and observability
    GitOps fans can take a spin on the free tier for pull-based deployment

    One-stop DevOps shop GitLab has announced version 15 of its platform, hot on the heels of pull-based GitOps turning up on the platform's free tier.

    Version 15.0 marks the arrival of GitLab's next major iteration and attention this time around has turned to visibility and observability – hardly surprising considering the acquisition of OpsTrace as 2021 drew to a close, as well as workflow automation, security and compliance.

    GitLab puts out monthly releases –  hitting 15.1 on June 22 –  and we spoke to the company's senior director of Product, Kenny Johnston, at the recent Kubecon EU event, about what will be added to version 15 as time goes by. During a chat with the company's senior director of Product, Kenny Johnston, at the recent Kubecon EU event, The Register was told that this was more where dollars were being invested into the product.

    Continue reading
  • To multicloud, or not: Former PayPal head of engineering weighs in
    Not everyone needs it, but those who do need to consider 3 things, says Asim Razzaq

    The push is on to get every enterprise thinking they're missing out on the next big thing if they don't adopt a multicloud strategy.

    That shove in the multicloud direction appears to be working. More than 75 percent of businesses are now using multiple cloud providers, according to Gartner. That includes some big companies, like Boeing, which recently chose to spread its bets across AWS, Google Cloud and Azure as it continues to eliminate old legacy systems. 

    There are plenty of reasons to choose to go with multiple cloud providers, but Asim Razzaq, CEO and founder at cloud cost management company Yotascale, told The Register that choosing whether or not to invest in a multicloud architecture all comes down to three things: How many different compute needs a business has, budget, and the need for redundancy. 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022