The company ALS Customs Services has automated the processes for customs clearance between the United Kingdom and France. Once the data required for exports and imports has been entered, the Customs Control Tower (CCT) automatically generates the necessary customs declarations on both sides in advance of transport. This enables clients to benefit from crossing the border point as smoothly as possible across the English Channel.  

Ever since the United Kingdom left the EU customs union, the customs formalities set by EU and UK laws apply to all goods that are imported from the United Kingdom into the customs territory of the Union or vice versa. It is therefore necessary to obtain preliminary customs clearance for imports at the ports prior to departure for France or the United Kingdom: this is because of the short crossings between Calais and Dover and the infrastructure restrictions at these border crossing points. During the border crossing, the status of pre-declared imports is automatically processed through the French SI Brexit or the British GVMS systems. Based on the regulatory risk assessments, trucks are selected for an inspection at the port or at an inland border facility or for clearance without any further stops. The challenge here is that if the necessary data is not available until late in the supply chain, transit times increase.

In order to guarantee the shortest transit times, ALS Customs Services has now developed its automated Customs Control Tower. This innovative tool, which has been created by the in-house customs technology team, obtains the required customs data via EDI and connects customers to any of ALS’ local customs systems. “Our vision at ALS is to ensure compliance while offering the smoothest border crossing experience to our customers,” says Richard Revyn, Managing Director ALS Europe. “The automated process guarantees that the data is transferred to our UK and French customs systems and simultaneously generates the appropriate customs entries on both sides – a genuine “Brexit Green Channel”.

As soon as exporters and importers are fully onboarded, transactional customs and shipment data can be processed in each connected country in line with the requirements. Fabrice Raimond, the Managing Director of ALS Douane France, adds, “In order to offer our clients a 24/7 service, we’ve developed an additional function at ALS Douane France so that the French pre-lodged import entry is automatically forwarded to the customer or their haulier. Our focus is increasingly shifting from the transaction work to customer onboarding and compliance checks.”