HM Revenue and Customs has informed the British International Freight Association (BIFA) that it has revised its plan to implement SAD Harmonization as a ‘big bang’ on July 1st 2007.

Instead, HMRC will now permit dual running of old and new type declarations between July 1st 2007 & September 30th 2007.

This decision is welcomed as BIFA had made strong representations on behalf of the industry direct to HM Revenue and Customs through its Customs Policy Group (PG5) and understands that the change is a direct result of trade concerns raised by members of this group.

Comments Colin Beaumont, BIFA Director General: ‘During our discussions with HMRC, we made it perfectly clear that forwarders, importers and exporters would face major disruption if HMRC went ‘big bang’ with this on July 1st instead of making some allowance for dual running at the implementation stage, which had been the original intention.

‘I am pleased to report that the lobbying has worked and instead of forcing the industry to adopt the new system on July 1st, HMRC will now permit dual running of old and new type declarations between July 1st 2007 and September 30th 2007. This will give forwarders the ability to adapt to the new procedures and uncover any defects of upgraded systems and software along the way. BIFA welcomes this example of Customs listening to Trade and this more realistic approach, of having both systems operated in parallel, for a cut-over period, should make the significant risks involved for all concerned more manageable.’ The new, more harmonized SAD (SAD-H) is an EU Commission initiative linked to other EU-level information technology projects designed to bring about the aimed for ‘paperless customs environment’ under the modernized Community Customs Code. Including new pre-arrival / departure freight reporting requirements, for security purposes, for ‘third country’ traffic.