HMRC LIVE SERVICES OUTAGE: 12th and 13th December 2009

Article Date: 09 December 2009

We have been advised by our Live Services team of a system outage scheduled to commence at 1800 on Saturday 12th December finishing at 0600 hrs on Sunday 13th December. 

The outage is an essential piece of work HMRC are performing in relocating services to new data centres situated in the UK. For our IT suppliers to meet this requirement technical infrastructure must be fully revised, including enhanced resilience to failure.

The outage will impact a range of internal HMRC systems and external Trade interfaces to some of our declaration processing systems. Further information is detailed below.

2. What systems are affected?

The following HMRC systems will be affected by this outage:

ATWD : Online service will be unavailable.

NCTS : The Web application, EDCS (e-Mail) and XML channels will be unavailable during the above times. It is recommended that NCTS traders consider the processing times when submitting declarations on Saturday 12th December 2009.

It is suggested that Normal Procedure traders submit their NCTS declarations and present their goods to the Office of Departure by 16:30 hrs. Authorised Consignors should also submit their NCTS declarations by the same time to allow for any timers to expire.
This will ensure that the declaration is processed in time and the Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) produced. Any declarations that have not been processed by 18:00 when the system is brought down will queue in the system until 06:00 Sunday 13th when the system is restored.

If you have trouble cancelling redundant declarations or have other message processing problems, you should contact the NCTS Helpdesk  on 01255 244 709 between 08:00 and 17:00 on Monday 14th December who will be able to assist you with the problem. Please see fallback section below for further information.

NES :  e-mail, web and XML channels will be unavailable.

CFSP : e-mail channel will be unavailable.

CHIEF HMRC Access only: CHIEF will be available throughout the outage for our customers using a Community System Provider connection. However if your declaration on CHIEF attracts a Route 1 or Route 2 status during the outage,  your entry will not be dealt with until access to CHIEF is restored to HMRC users. Please see the fallback section below for further information.

CHIEF ALVS: CHIEF will be available throughout the outage for our customers using a Community System Provider connection. However if your horticultural or plant import declarations are normally passed electronically to Defra’s ALVS system, these entries will not gain ALVS decision notifications and subsequent CHIEF clearance until HMRC services are restored on Sunday morning.

Please see the fallback section below for further information.

3.  What fallback plans are in place during the outage?

NCTS (all channels) – During this period of unavailability, NCTS traders are granted permission to use the Paper Fallback Procedures in accordance with Customs Information Paper 09 (28). 

NES - If you are intending to use NES e-mail, web or XML channels to declare your goods to HMRC, we suggest one of the following options;

• You submit the declaration well in advance of the downtime if the goods are being declared to the export procedure during this period. Please bear in mind the minimum periods for submitting declarations laid down in CCCIP, Article 592; or
• You submit the declaration via one of the other routes which will remain open, such as a Community System Provider.

In the event that you experience difficulties before the outage, please contact the NES Helpdesk on 02920 326 371 during normal office hours.

CHIEF entries processed by the National Clearance Hub (NCH) 

Traders are strongly encouraged to submit their entries in good time before the outage commences. This will allow the NCH to enter the outage with minimal entry work in progress, and facilitate a swifter return to usual service standards for clearance times once the service is restored.

When CHIEF HMRC access returns, the NCH will make every effort to clear the back log of entries as soon as possible during Sunday 13th December.

CHIEF interface to Defra’s ALVS

To help minimise any Business disruption you will need to ensure all import declarations, destined for transmission to ALVS, are submitted to CHIEF in advance of the commencement of the outage.

We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the inconvenience and disruption this will cause your business and your users. We have negotiated with our IT supplier to identify a time which provides least disruption to our customers, and we are keen to work with you to make sure the service impact is reduced as much as possible.


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