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UK Customs approves cyber attack fail-safe

LONDON: July 06, 2017. The British International Freight Association (BIFA) says it welcomes the UK government's decision to support 'CCS-UK Fallback', an IT back-up plan in the event the country's Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) processing system fails.

LHRDesigned by British Telecom (BT) for the CCS-UK user group, the fallback system will work for up to 30 days and allows authorized airlines, forwarders and brokers to continue processing Customs export declarations in the event of any "significant" system outage, and receive automatic fallback clearance to avoid delaying airfreight shipments.

Import entries will also receive fallback clearance, avoiding the backlogging that would result from manual Customs clearance, said BT.

CCS-UK is one of only six providers authorized to connect to, and exchange messages with CHIEF – Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs' computer system that documents all UK imports and exports, issues invoices for duties and taxes where appropriate, and provides for immediate Customs clearance.

BIFA director general Robert Keen noted: "Although the back-up system has been in existence for about a year, it is good to hear that it has now received formal Customs approval and is ready for use to prevent any meltdown in the event of a prolonged outage of HMRC's computer systems."

Keen continued: "In the last week, with the situation at Maersk, we have seen evidence of the problems that can occur when computer systems are disrupted."

Maersk says it has now restored track and trace and booking amendment functions on https://my.maerskline.com/ after the June 27 'Petya' ransomware attack. The company has also enabled New Bookings, Request Delivery Order, Print Bills of Lading and access to 'MyFinance' functionality.

Acknowledging the patience and understanding of its customers as it endeavors to restore normal trading conditions, Maersk added: "It has been an intense week. We have gained so many learnings (sic) and thank you for the clear and good feedback you have provided in the process. We value this a lot."

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