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CSP connectivity

Date: Feb 14 2022
CSP connectivity

To explain what CSP’s do and how Albacore can help, the reader needs to know a little background about the UK customs system. This article aims to clarify terms rather than give advice for any specific scenario.

Community System Providers (CSPs) are commercial entities that directly interface with HMRC frontier systems. These include Customs Handling Import & Export Freight (CHIEF). CSP’s will continue to provide these same functions when CHIEF is replaced by the Customs Declaration System (CDS) from September 2022 for imports and March 2023 for exports.

An import or export declaration is a set of standard information about a consignment that is required to be submitted to HMRC in order to notify them about the movement of that consignment and any VAT or duty payable on it.

In the case of imports, the declaration also informs the CSP that the consignment can be removed from their inventory. An inventory is essentially a list, maintained by a CSP, of consignments that are currently in transit. Inventories are built from information submitted to the CSP from vessel or aircraft operators.

Exports are not inventory linked so they can be sent using any CSP where the badge holder has an export facility with that CSP.

Companies apply to CSP’s for a badge. A badge is an identifier for the declarations processed by that company at a port or airport. Badges are issued by CSPs and authorised by HMRC.

There are 5 CSP’s in the UK. The first is DHL. This is only for DHL goods arriving into and leaving DHL’s locations. DHL handle their own shipments, they operate their own inventory and connectivity to HMRC – no badges are issued to other agents, so DHL are a CSP in name only.

The vast majority of UK air cargo imports are controlled by CCS-UK (Cargo Community Switch – UK), the second of the 5 UK CSPs. Connectivity to CCS-UK requires a secure link to be maintained between the badge holder and CCS-UK. CCS-UK is operated by BT Air Logistics. Customers of CCS-UK can run badges for multiple airports over a single CCS-UK link.

The third is CNS (Community Network Services). CNS is a wholly owned subsidiary of DP World Southampton. CNS control a number of seaports in the UK including Southampton, London Gateway and Belfast. CNS also operate an air courier system for couriers and express parcel operators based in Heathrow and Gatwick.

MCP (Maritime Cargo Processing) are the fourth UK CSP. Based in Felixstowe, MCP control a number of seaports in the UK including Felixstowe, Immingham, Hull and Bristol.

The fifth CSP is Pentant. Pentant control the ro-ro port of Dover and the air inventory for London City airport.

Albacore manage CSP connectivity for hundreds of UK badge holders ranging from large corporates to start-ups. We have established and long-standing contacts at all the CSP’s who issue badges. We have developed and can offer all types of managed and supported on-premise, hosted and bureau solutions with 24/7 support to assure CSP connectivity for our customers.
We have a unique fallback service available to our customers which was developed with CCS-UK. This allows our customers access to CCS-UK using any available Internet connectivity in the unlikely event of a fault with their Albacore managed connection. Using Albacore managed CSP connectivity has a cost, but that cost becomes insignificant when compared to the loss of earnings or reduction in reputation resulting from a failure or problem with CSP connectivtiy.

Albacore support CSP connectivity to the network card of the system that sends entries rather than the router hardware. With Albacore support in place for the machine that transmits your declarations, that support extends to the system itself and means our helpdesk team will work with your staff, your software provider and the CSP involved to resolve any issue that may arise.

We publish updates on CSP information, outages and downtime on Twitter @AlbacoreSystems to advise users of stsatus on a real time basis.

Feel free to contact us by clicking the contact link at the top of this page. We’d be happy to bring our 30 years of experience and help you establish or solidify CSP connectivity in your organisation.