Testing traders' systems: systems testing
The authorising officer should also agree an appropriate programme to test the adequacy of the trader’s system, using their own data. This programme of testing should be carried out against the CHIEF test service ‘CHIEF Live in training mode’. Whilst the test kit enables the officer/ trader to ‘test’ communication links, it is strongly advised that the officer also performs tests using the trader’s own data to identify any potential problems with their system data, e.g. with commodity codes, CPCs, tax override codes, etc. Testing of the trader’s live data is far more likely to identify potential errors and irregularities than use of the test kit. This systems testing should hopefully identify the majority of CHIEF data errors prior to the trader going live thereby avoiding any potential data irregularities or revenue risks.
These systems tests should also include any communications links within the company i.e. between data systems, stock accounts and the message construction software or between members of staff, etc. It is important to ensure that the information passed between different aspects of the trader’s systems retains its integrity in order to gain assurance that the information actually transmitted to HMRC is correct. If data is altered, misinterpreted or lost within the trader’s system then although the declaration received by CHIEF may be ‘accepted’, the revenue calculations/statistics may be inaccurate.
The system should also be examined by the Computer audit Service to ensure the volume of declarations created by this new system/version does not create excessive declarations liable to detrimentally affect the stability of CHIEF.
Testing facilities via EDCS are available to traders 24 hours a day. Testing via the DTI Community Systems will be subject to agreement with the relevant DTI System Operator.
If traders using the DTI Community Systems have any queries then they should contact the appropriate helpdesk run by the DTI System Operator:
- BTC&SI (CCS-UK) 01252 626060
- Community Network Services (CNS) 01489 554122
- Dover Harbour Board (DHB) 01304 240400
- Maritime Cargo Processing (FCP) 01394 600200
- Agency Sector Management (EDI) 01784 242200.
Any technical queries which cannot be handled locally should be directed to the Excise and Customs Helpline on 0845 010 9000.