CCS-UK was launched in 1993.It is the central core of a new-style community system that replaced ACP 90 (itself a successor to the original, world-beating LACES system of 1969), which used a central Customs computer connected to dedicated (“dumb”) terminals located in freight agents’ offices, over dedicated data lines.

This system was very restrictive, as the special data lines were only connected to a very limited number of local “nodes” (such as the former agents’ Buildings 520 and 521 at London Heathrow) so that users had to have an office located within one of the connected buildings in order to connect to the Customs system. In addition, the ACP90 terminals could only be used for Customs entries.

CCS-UK introduced “distributed processing” and, in doing so, created a real digital cargo community. This comprised forwarding agents using their own PCs and specialist programs to send and receive messages via the CCS-UK central database and switch. With this came much greater flexibility: for the first time, it enabled connections via data lines that could be installed in any business location, anywhere in the UK. Subsequently, CCS-UK was updated to connect to users via normal ADSL lines (which are managed by BT and fully secured) further reducing costs for users.
Another benefit of CCS-UK was that it ran on normal office PCs: so users could now use their everyday desktop computer and LAN for Customs entries, running alongside their other business applications.

The CCS-UK User Group was formed to represent the interests of the CCS-UK community. Its Board  comprises representatives from each of the major user sectors: forwarders, airlines and transit shed operators.



Lawrence Cockburn (Chairperson)dnata
John O’SheaAOCC
Simon AdamsAgency Sector Management
Gemma TancredWFS
Vicky PetrovaDB Schenker
Mark ReddingDHL Global Forwarders

CCS-UK User Group works closely with BT, the operator of CCS-UK, to provide hands-on advice and input on the air cargo industry and its ever-changing technical requirements. It identifies significant new factors such as evolving regulation and changing international trade scenarios, and defines the necessary changes and enhancements to the system. Once solutions are developed, it then works with BT and the CCS-UK community to test and refine these enhancements.

CCS-UK User Group also plays a vital lobbying role with HMRC, Border Force, Government and fellow trade bodies to ensure that all new procedures and regulation take full and proper account of the air cargo community’s needs and interests.