We are committed to ensure that consignments are cleared as quickly as possible through the Port of Felixstowe. We work very closely with the port operator, importers, agents and other authorities to make the best use of technology which ensures every step is as efficient and effective as possible.
Our dedicated IT team maintains an in-house system, called PHILIS, which helps us carry out our statutory duty. PHILIS talks to other systems such as EU TRACES (Trade Control and Expert system), MCPs Destin8 system and CNS Compass to exchange as much information as possible electronically. The software is also used by London, Mersey, Southampton and Dover Port Health authorities. We have also developed another system specifically for Heathrow Animal Reception Centre and also provide a free online tool to enable the generation and submission of Plastic Declaration Documents (PDDs).
Improving information and transparency
We use mobile devices within the examination facilities. This enables us to record more of the key points during an inspection, and for the latest information to be available as soon as possible. Although customers are already notified when a consignment is requested for examination, in the future it will also be possible to add updates throughout the process. We are looking at how we provide this information to relevant organisations.
Automatic License Verification System (ALVS)
Our systems at Port Health send updates to other authorities via a system called ALVS. This helps the other authorities to speed up their release of consignments by electronically matching customs entries with the results of checks carried out by other inspection authorities. ALVS can:
- Match decisions from Procedure for Electronic Application for Certificates (PEACH) – horticultural/plant products;
- Match inspection decisions that are recorded on TRACES, and finally;
- Transmit import control decisions to HMRC’s Customs Handling of Import & Export Freight (CHIEF) system.
This speeds up customs clearances across a range of imports including:
- Horticultural / plant products
- Live animals
- Products of Animal Origin (POAO)
- Food Not of Animal Origin (NAO) Regulation 2019/1793 ; Regulation 91/2013)
- Fishery products requiring Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) catch certificates
You can find out more about ALVS on GOV.UK by reading the ALVS User Guide
If you need to request a manual clearance, use the ALVS Manual Release Form
Help for fish CVEDS
The selection of the scientific name for fish on TRACES was identified as a particular problem; we were seeing errors on most mixed species common veterinary entry documents (CVED) and getting a lot of phone calls from confused customers. We want to cut down on errors by making it easier for you to get it right first time without having to pick up the phone. Our new fish search tool helps with the completion of the cved on TRACES: