Julian Bajkowski, News Editor of Computerworld Australia, writes:

Just a word about the Customs drama at the
moment and “industry insiders.”

There are certainly problems, but it’s worth double checking everything
the CBFCA/AFIF says with end customers. Brokers really hate this new system
because it allows big users (think supermarkets etc) to bypass brokers.

Basically they have an interest in maintaining the status quo and delaying any switch for as long as possible.

Naturally, the ALP is seeking to exploit this, although where they get the
estimate of 48 hrs from is still a bit of a mystery. It’s one of those panicky
figures that just appears out from under the relevant minister’s desk.

They are now clearing stuff manually –
they have always had the capacity to clear stuff manually – so it’s fairly
unlikely it will grind to a halt.

I’ve been trying to sort out what the real issue is here and, basically ,
both the industry (mainly shippers) and Customs seem to have drastically
underestimated how crappy some of the the data coming from shippers really
is. By crappy I mean the data collects weird numbers and letters like fleas as
it passes via various systems.

new system only likes clean, lean data because Customs wants to know where
everything is at once for port security/border control reasons. This has
always been stated up front – it’s a b*tch, but they have been honest about

But it doesn’t explain the lastest debacle – the Australian Customs Service has admitted some users have been able
to access and view each other’s import documentation.