SME Chamber

Complications at customs

Following complaints made by the GRTU regarding problems encountered with the introduction of the new software system used for processing of customs declarations. GRTU received the below clarification from customs:


We realise that there regrettably were, and to an extent still exist,  problems with the implementation of the new system and we are working hard to overcome these last errors and to provide a platform for the Maltese traders themselves and for customs agents to enable them to compete to offer their services to any registered trader in the EU.

It should be noted that we had in fact sent notices to trader associations (including the GRTU) and also directly to all registered users of the system several days before the start of operations to inform them of the prospected three day deployment shutdown. Also we had some weeks ago published on our portal downloadable details of all the changes that were to be implemented together with manuals for using the export and import systems.

To explain a little; we needed to enhance our applications for several reasons, to come in line with the latest EU directives regarding data harmonization and information exchange, to upgrade our system to take note and correct the weaknesses in the original design and business workflow that had been identified both by ourselves and the trade, and to provide new features that benefit traders by making our system more ‘open' for goods exiting or entering the European union. Among other things the latest system makes available to authorised declarants the possibility to declare simplified or incomplete declarations, to submit declarations from their own proprietary systems and to print out the declaration in the standard SAD format. The systems also utilises the full EORi database of European traders, so the local representatives may make customs declarations on behalf of any EU trader registered with customs in any member state (obviously subject to certain legal constraints).

All these were very complex tasks and the there have been some hiccups along the way which we are doing our best to overcome, and we believe that within the next few days we will have a system running all involved can be satisfied with. Where there are problems we are always there to help traders to process their declarations as quickly as possible to avoid delays.

We will keep members informed when we have more information.

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