Scope of the inquiry
The Public Accounts Committee has twice taken evidence from senior officials at HM Revenue and Customs about the Customs Declaration Service, a programme to replace the IT system for companies paying customs duties to UK Government:
The National Audit Office recently published a report into progress at delivering the Customs Declaration Service. It found that there remained a risk that the new Service wouldn't be ready to replace its predecessor, CHIEF, by January 2019, but that HMRC’s contingency planning put it in a better position were that to happen.
The NAO also found that, in order to start rolling out the new Service in August 2018, HMRC had had to reduce the scope of what it will be able to do. Further, depending on the outcome of Brexit negotiations about customs, HMRC may have to be ready to facilitate 145,000 traders in the EU who would need to make customs declarations when bringing goods into the UK post-Brexit.
The Committee may follow up on its previous exploration of the Customs Declaration Service, to see whether the Service will be ready in good time, whether HMRC’s contingency plans are robust, and whether the Service will be resilient to different Brexit outcomes.