Michael Gove starts work on new customs border system as UK readies for no deal on Jan 1

The government has started work on a new Brexit customs IT system less than four months until the end of the transition period - but officials have admitted it may not be ready in time.

HMRC, who will oversee new customs paperwork for hauliers following January 1st, has launched a trial of the new system and is inviting them to participate in remote-user testing for the new scheme.

The new scheme will be known as the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) and will monitor all U.K.-EU goods flow from July and cross-Irish Sea trade from January 1st, 2021.

It will work by giving hauliers and freight companies a unique reference number.

This number will prove they have filed the necessary post-Brexit paperwork including vital customs declarations for goods.

It comes as The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, on Wednesday said he might meet his British counterpart in person next week for further negotiations.

Barnier said this week he had no plans to meet David Frost this week, before adding: "But perhaps next week if conditions allow."

Negotiations between Britain and the EU over post-Brexit ties made scant progress last week, with both sides blaming the other for the stalemate.

A HMRC internal memo says the Government is seeking to start trials as soon as possible on the scheme due to the time left in the transition period.

The memo, added: “When designing a system that the industry will be using, it is important we work in partnership with them to make sure it suits their and our needs.

“We will continue to develop our systems in readiness for the end of the transition period and when full border controls are implemented from July 2021.”

Source: The Express