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BT today announced it has been awarded an extension to its contract with HM Customs and Excise (HMCE) to supply, operate and manage the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) service.

Customs has exercised its option for the contract let in 2002 to be extended for a further three years. Under the extended contract, worth £28.7 million, BT will operate the service until 2010. BT designed and built the initial CHIEF service in 1989 and continues to support and operate the system 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Dave Musson, managing director, government, BT Consulting and Systems Integration, said: “We are delighted to have extended our contract with Customs and Excise for a further three years in what must be one of the UK’s most enduring IT partnerships.

“Together with our other major customers such as the NHS, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Ministry of Defence, this contract reinforces BT’s reputation as one of the UK’s leading and most experienced IT services companies.”

Maurice Kingdon, head of customs and international trade group at Customs and Excise, said: “CHIEF processes all UK import and export declarations with around 27 million transactions a year, linking UK Customs offices with traders. I am pleased we can maintain the status quo for the trade, with CHIEF helping Customs keep the UK’s imports and exports on the move.”

CHIEF links customs officers with 4700 traders and freight forwarders who use the system directly, and supports all import and export traders around the UK. CHIEF collected over £20 billion of VAT, customs and excise duties in the past year.

Under the extended contract BT will provide greater system capacity, improve associated disaster recovery services and further advance the ability to access CHIEF’s reporting functions.

BT also anticipates working closely with Customs on the transition of CHIEF to its future successor.

Further information
Please call Barry Murphy at BT Consulting & Systems Integration on 01252 777243 or Alastair Turner at Sparx Communications on 01753 893000

Inquiries may also be made to the BT Group Newsroom on its 24-hour number: 020 7356 5369. From outside the UK dial + 44 20 7356 5369. All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.bt.com/newscentre

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About BT

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions serving customers in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Its principal activities include IT and networking services, local, national and international telecommunications services, and higher-value broadband and internet products and services.

BT consists principally of three lines of business:



· BT Retail, providing fixed and mobile communications services and solutions and IT and networking services to more than 20 million business and residential customers in the UK. It is also a leading UK internet services provider.

· BT Wholesale, providing network services and solutions within the UK to more than 600 fixed and mobile operators and service providers including the provision of broadband, private circuits.

· BT Global Services, providing IT and networking services internationally to meet the needs of multi-site organisations with European operations. BT Global Services operates in more than 130 countries and also offers international carrier services.



In the year ended 31 March 2004, BT Group’s turnover was £18,519 million with profit before goodwill amortisation, exceptional items and taxation of £2,013 million. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/aboutbt.





About BT Consulting & Systems Integration



BT Consulting & Systems Integration is part of BT Global Services and specialises in business transformation and change management.

Its primary activity is the provision of consulting and systems integration services, including business consultancy, complex programme management and custom systems design, development and management.

With major operational centres in the UK, Continental Europe and North America, the business employs more than 5000 people.

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