ASM software project aims to comply with EU’s shifting customs demands
Agency Sector Management (UK) Ltd., a not-for-profit software developer and representative body for freight forwarders in the United Kingdom, has started work on a replacement for its Global eCargo Management System (GeMS) in order to cope with the next raft of customs procedure changes being introduced as part of the European Union’s Multi Annual Strategic Plan (MASP).
ASM’s new program, which has a working title of Sequoia Project, will be developed in consultation with potential customers to meet their needs in order to comply with the changing regulations. The GeMS release schedule will slow after the Single Administrative Document (SADH) release, originally planned for July but not now expected before September. There are no plans to add further modules to GeMS beyond this release, though it will continue to be maintained and supported.
ASM aims to have Sequoia generally available to all users at no additional cost in time for the introduction of pre-arrival and pre- departure (PAPD) security declarations across the EU in 2009.
“The European freight and logistics industry is on the brink of massive changes. The move to SADH and the changes being introduced as part of MASP, represents the start of a paradigm shift in compliance issues for any company involved in global trade and international supply chains,” said Peter MacSwiney, chairman of ASM.
At a press briefing in London on Monday, MacSwiney was critical of the EU’s plans, saying no one in the industry would see any benefit and that changes are motivated by the EU wanting to show other authorities, especially in the United States, that they are doing something to improve security. He added that the extra costs that MASP will bring could potentially damage Europe’s position as a place to transship cargo to other regions.
Adam Gane, ASM’s development manager, said: “With GeMS, we focused on how best we could add the functionality that our users wanted. July’s launch of Release 11 of GeMS will mark the culmination of ASM’s initiative to provide a “one-stop” suite of software solutions for U.K. freight forwarders meeting current requirements in regards to Customs documentation and communications.
“Project Sequoia represents a change in technical focus. With Sequoia, we will already start with all the functionality that meets existing needs, so we’re now more concerned with generating real business value for our customers by making the end users more productive and able to comply with new EU initiatives on import and export processing and documentation. Sequoia will be quicker to use, more robust and more highly configurable.”