BT has been awarded a three year extension to its contract with HM Customs and Excise (HMCE) to supply, operate and manage the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (Chief) service.
HMCE has exercised its extension option for the contract it signed in 2002. Under the extended contract - worth £28.7m - BT will operate the service until 2010.
BT designed and built the initial Chief service in 1989. Chief links customs officers with 4,700 traders and freight forwarders who use the system directly, and supports all import and export traders around the UK. Chief collected over £20bn of VAT and customs and excise duties in the past year.
Under the extended contract BT will provide greater system capacity, improved disaster recovery services, and enhance the ability to access Chief's reporting functions, said HMCE.
Maurice Kingdon, head of the HMCE customs and international trade group, said, "Chief processes around 27 million transactions a year, linking UK Customs offices with traders. I am pleased we can maintain the status quo for the trade, with Chief helping Customs to keep the UK's imports and exports on the move."