IT Developments - apps and time savers

Here at Port Health, we have a small in-house development team and are constantly making improvements to our IT software to speed up our own processes and to help our customers gain faster clearances.  

We have our own information management system PHILIS which communicates with the EU TRACES system, MCPs Destin8 system and with CNS Compass.  This successful system is now used by both London and Mersey Port Health.   Current enhancements include the use of mobile devices at the examination facilities (to reduce admin) as well as the introduction of document scanning to improve the flow of work.

Working with MCP - improving messaging with Destin8

Release Messaging
Port Health with MCP have developed an enhanced 'release' message - which will be transmitted to the HMRC - National Clearance Hub (NCH).  This means that importers/ clearing agents will not have to wait for the Port Health inspection results in order to submit the entry.  The inspection results will be transmitted by Destin8 to the NCH in an agreed message format (with the entry number attached) so that the clearance can be processed.  

Improving Information and Transparency
Using mobile devices at the examination facility means that PHILIS is able to record more key 'points' within the inspection process.  Customers will already be notified when a consignment is requested for examination, however, in the future it will also be possible to advise with the examination has been started for example.  We will be working with MCP to send more updates through Destin8.

Automatic License Verification System (ALVS)

ALVS is a messaging system that electronically matches Customs entries with the results of checks carried out by other inspection authorities.

The project is being led by HMRC & Defra and Port Health have been playing an active part in the project team. The plan is to extend the existing ALV System (for horticultural/plant products). The extension will cover 3rd country imports that are recorded on the EU TRACES (Trade Control and Expert system).

This change will automate the transmission of import control decisions to HMRC’s CHIEF system, speeding up customs clearances for imports of:

A phased roll out of the project is planned and will take place between June and September 2014.

Read more about the project (Defra website)

Read more about ALVS on


Fish Name Search Tool

  We have developed a search tool to help you to complete your CVED on TRACES.

Project - Help for Fish CVEDs

Some of the service improvements that we have been looking at are related to areas where we have identified frequent issues.  The selection of the Scientific Name for fish on TRACES was identified as a particular problem; we were seeing errors on most mixed species CVEDs and getting a lot of phone calls.  As a result we developed a search tool to help with the completion of the CVED on TRACES.  We want to cut down on errors by making it easier for you to get it right.  As well as developing the search tool an information page about completing the Scientific Name on your TRACES entry has been set up and is available here.

Get Involved

If you would like to make any suggestions or to discuss any of these projects further please contact a member of the ICT  team.


Tel:- 01394 613330 and ask to speak to the ICT team

Jargon Buster Search

... read the full list here