Several years ago, the European Commission and EU member states jointly approved new customs legislation and a range of IT systems for its implementation. The responsibility for operating and implementing some of these IT systems rests with individual member states. The specifications and planning were aligned and agreed upon between the member states and the EU Commission. A defined time frame, or deployment window was established individually, for all member states to launch their new IT systems. One of these IT projects is the modernization, Phase 5 of the “New Computerized Transit System (NCTS P5)”, which is a common IT system for declaring, managing, and controlling transit operations.
A transit procedure is a customs procedure designed to facilitate the movement of goods between two locations while suspending duties, taxes, and commercial policy measures that would normally apply upon import. For example, it lets goods travel from where they enter the customs union to their final place of destination, where the customs clearance formalities take place.
After several authorities confirmed that they needed more time for the move to NCTS Phase 5, the deadline for the member states was going to be extended. Therefore, customs administrations are still busy implementing the necessary IT systems on schedule, and software providers and the trade community are adapting to meet these demands.
MIC took on the challenge of adapting its single NCTS IT-system to the changes made in all the member states through 27 customs administrations within a quite short timeframe. It was imperative to examine the country-specific customs systems and collaborate in the first place with the German and Czech authorities to gather all relevant requirements. Fortunately, this process went smoothly in this case, and the MIC Delivery Team was able to complete the implementation well within the set timeline. The complexity increases with the size of the customer, although the changes may not be visible to them. However, from a technical standpoint, significant changes occurred in the background of the software, as the data model was completely overhauled, and MIC adopted new technology.
For this complex project, MIC has implemented a tailored program management approach to facilitate cross-functional collaboration, harness synergies, and ensure effective coordination of various timelines. The team consisted of experts from different departments and was therefore able to streamline the entire project within a short time frame. All team members simultaneously participated in their regular project teams within MIC, representing various departments such as Development, Project & Support, Delivery Management, and a Configuration Expert who assisted with the initial application setup. Highly skilled experts were essential to ensuring a quick transition into the project and meeting the first deadline. Establishing a cross-functional team enabled a more comprehensive understanding of the entire product stream. For this setup, the role of a Program Manager has been introduced.
Since September 2023, MIC successfully migrated its first customers to NCTS P5 in Germany and the Czech Republic, followed by Italy. The project is ongoing, with a total of 14 countries involved.