Forward warns exporters to Northern Ireland

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Forward Solutions, one of the leading suppliers of software to the multimodal sector, has issued a warning to companies that want to continue exporting to Northern Ireland.

The use of Customs Handling Imports and Export Freight (CHIEF) to submit import declarations for goods brought into Northern Ireland from outside the UK and EU is being phased out, which means movements from mainland UK to NI will required a declaration on CDS.

From 31 October 2021, the CDS (Customs Declaration Service) will replace CHIEF for these movements.

So, unless companies use the Customs Declaration Service for the movement of goods into and out of Northern Ireland, the trade will not be permitted.

Richard Litchfield, Managing Director of Forward Solutions, said: “It is vital that anyone wanting to ship goods into or out of Northern Ireland, after the end of October, switches to CDSNI. It is the only option for declaring movements of goods in and out of Northern Ireland and without it all movements will be halted.

“We have been planning for this change for some time, and we are one of only a handful of freight software providers that will be CDSNI-ready before the end of October. This means that all our customers who rely on trade with Northern Ireland will experience a smooth transition away from CHIEF. Our specialist IT systems, adapted for the move away from CHIEF, will enable customers to keep on moving goods in and out of Northern Ireland as normal.”

Richard added: “While there is still the Trader Support Scheme (TSS NI) this is not suitable for more than occasional declarations and does not have full functionality. This is why we have been so focused on ensuring we are CDSNI-ready, so that we can be of maximum assistance to our customers.”

Steve Spence, Application Manager at Denholm Global Logistics, and a Forward Solutions customer, said: “Forward Solutions is always at least one step ahead of the post-Brexit changes. Our ability to move goods into and out of Northern Ireland is an important part of our business now and going forward.

“Knowing that we have the right IT solutions in place ahead of time is extremely reassuring.”

The Forward team is led by logistics specialists with technology expertise who have a deep understanding of the operational challenges faced by freight operators.

Forward recently announced half a million-pound investment in redeveloping and reengineering its product portfolio. Forward Solutions is developing an additional User Interface (UI) to utilise the existing feature-rich solution which will be rolled out in 2022.

Forward is one of the longest established freight software development companies, providing end-to-end solutions for a wide range of operators in the UK, Europe, Asia and the US.

Forward Solutions is also revamping the presentation of its Forward Office software to a suite of eight products designed to meet different customer needs. Packages now start from a Forward Core – essential services package with additions such as integrated customs clearance, mobile apps and API integration.

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