DaziT – first-half report

Four and a half years have elapsed, and another four and a half remain until project completion. A good opportunity to review the results achieved with the DaziT transformation programme to date.

07.07.2022, Nicolas Rion

33 million customs master datasets

The master data management project is one of the DaziT projects that have been successfully completed since the spring of 2022. All master data of the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS) is now managed centrally and in a standardised way in SAP MDG. This includes more than 30'000 business partner datasets and around 33 million sets of specific customs master data such as tariff numbers and customs rates. "That's a world record", according to the responsible specialist Thomas Eggimann. "A million customs datasets are managed actively and updated daily, and the rest are calculated automatically. For example, in just a few seconds, we can retrieve the applicable customs rates on every single day for the last five years for a specific goods item."

First, the data model was simplified, optimised and expanded. The master data is now entered only once. And what is possibly even more important: strict data management workflows were implemented. In addition, the new solution allows FOCBS customers to modify their business partner data in self-care mode – from any location and at any time. "With the new centralised master data management, we can ensure a high quality and reliability of data on a sustainable basis. As a result, we have built a solid foundation for the business community, further DaziT projects and the remaining Federal Administration (SUPERB programme)", Thomas Eggimann sums up.

A technological first in Europe

Another milestone in the first half of the DaziT programme is the first pilot operation in Europe of telematics technology by Customs. The goal: a fully automated and quicker border crossing process. Existing interfaces were exploited, thereby avoiding expensive investment in new technology. The practical test in Ramsen in autumn 2021 – which took place under COVID restrictions in force at the time – confirmed the potential while yielding valuable insights on optimisation with a view to wider use.

Telematics should supplement the existing solutions for automatic activation of customs declarations. Since the Activ and Periodic smartphone apps went live, more than 100'000 journeys into and through Switzerland have been automatically activated. The trend is upwards and the growth potential is huge: every day, more than 20'000 lorries cross the Swiss border. In any case, following the installation of 64 geofences, the Swiss border is fully "ready for activation". Additional technical solutions are being examined for transports by rail, waterway and air.

33%, 65%, 99% and 100,000

Use of the first available DaziT digital services is growing steadily, as the examples below demonstrate.

  • 33%: The introduction of the European Electronic Toll Service EETS) has made it possible to collect the performance-related heavy vehicle charge (HVC) automatically. Since January 2020, more than half a million journeys through Switzerland have been processed using EETS. Although there are currently only two FOCBS-certified EETS providers offering this new service, usage is already at 33%.
  • 65%: Nearly two thirds of bus and camper van drivers are now choosing to pay the lump-sum heavy vehicle charge (PSVA) digitally. The smartphone app Via, a winner of the "Best of Swiss Apps" award, is increasingly replacing the old paper-based solution. Since its launch in early 2019, it has been used more than 60'000 times.
  • 99%: Today, nearly all beer tax in Switzerland and Liechtenstein is collected digitally. Following the large and medium-sized breweries, virtually all small breweries are now also declaring their beer production for tax electronically using the Biera app. The tax is calculated automatically. The refund process is also digital.
  • 100'000: The QuickZoll app for customs clearance in tourist traffic is attracting a growing number of users. The symbolic threshold of 100'000 goods declarations was passed just as the DaziT project reached the halfway mark. In 2021, around 10% of all revenues from tourist traffic were collected via this tried and tested smartphone app.

Mobility, flexibility – and much more besides

The tip of the DaziT iceberg conceals lots of small or large achievements within the FOCBS that the transformation programme has recorded:

  • 240'000 searches a month using eneXs mobile: searches for people or things can be run in various investigative databases from any location. The app has already proved indispensable in mobile operations.
  • 135 aspirants in training: The new job profile "specialist in customs and border security" increases the flexibility in the FOCBS, which is needed in order for it to fulfil its mandate: comprehensive border security for the population, businesses and the state.
  • 100% of operational customs staff wear protective vests: security is our highest priority. Staff are trained and equipped in line with the new job profile.
  • 23 local levels combining 38 border guard posts and 21 customs inspectorates: All the levels of the FOCBS organisation have been realigned to the new requirements – as a condition and consequence of the digital transformation. The focus is on synergies and flexibility.
  • 93% of patrol vehicles are equipped with telematics and digital logbooks: operational staff members are relieved of purely administrative activities, leaving them free to concentrate on their core tasks.
  • 90 information events for managers and employees, 13 meetings with the economic advisory group, 50 meetings with staff associations, 40 official harmonisation meetings with neighbouring countries and TAXUD: the transformation of the FOCBS is taking place alongside a regular and close exchange with numerous partner organisations and stakeholders.

DaziT second half

The second half of the DaziT programme starts with two important milestones: the Federal Council's approval of the dispatch on the total revision of the Customs Act and the introduction of the Schengen Entry/Exit System at airports. The latter represents the first step towards modernising the border control system; the associated tender procedure already took place during the first half of DaziT.

The next large milestone after that will be in mid-2023, when the first release of the new Passar goods traffic system is rolled out. The design of the parallel run and the transition will be prepared and closely coordinated with the business community. Another focus of attention is the training in the new job profile, the introduction of a standardised case processing and reporting solution for the entire FOCBS, the introduction of the e-vignette, the financing and implementation of real estate projects, and the continued drive towards cultural transformation, to name just a few important objectives.