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Client Stories

Successful Go-live for UK Customs System

HMRC’s Customs Handling of Import and Export of Freight (CHIEF) system moves to Capgemini

“ This is a perfect example of close collaboration between HMRC and our IT partners resulting in a flawless IT delivery. ”Phil Pavitt, Chief Information Officer, HMRC

The Situation

CHIEF, one of the largest and most sophisticated electronic Customs systems in the world, is used to calculate and collect £20 billion from imports, handling over 99 percent of all goods imported or exported to or from the UK in real-time. When the IT service contract went to open tender, HMRC selected Capgemini as their new partner to run the critical service, drive economies of scale in service management and develop strategic enhancements to align CHIEF to the programme to modernise HMRC’s technical architecture and to facilitate integration with other European customs projects.

The Solution

CHIEF now runs from two state-of-the-art data centres which maintain 24/7 availability, 365 days a year by automatically diverting users if any components fail. The new platform is faster than before, moves from physical to virtual storage and has enhanced security and capacity to provide the building blocks for future developments. Flexible network communications link six commercial inventory systems and the central hub used by HMRC staff to process individual customers’ declarations. The new application support model ensures there is no single point of failure and includes a centralised IT helpdesk to solve user problems remotely. Future enhancements to the application are enabled by simplified, scalable and efficient infrastructure.

The Result

CHIEF transferred on time and ahead of budget, without disruption to the movement of goods and maintaining revenue to the UK Government. The new service assures ongoing availability and costs less, thanks to economies of scale from HMRC’s service management structure and value for money decisions, such as connecting traders by a network so there are no geographic costs. Centralised 24/7 IT support offers improved customer service, and the dual data centre solution assures availability of the service. The move is the first phase in the modernisation of CHIEF.