Tracking the UK Ministry of Defence’s global assets. CGI designed, delivered and now manages a secure cloud-based service to track and ensure compliance with these controls. This ensures that the UK avoids unnecessary import duty, allows us to comply with our international obligations and ensures that the UK can access technology from key international partners and nations.

The Challenge

Every year the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) exports and re-imports millions of pieces of equipment. This creates a significant asset management headache. In addition, the activities have to be compliant with a range of regulatory and export controls, including:

  • Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) regulatory requirements for the export and re-import of military equipment
  • Reporting of Assets Subject to Special Control (ASSC) procured under Foreign Military Sales agreements
  • Assets exported under Foreign Export Control Regulations such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Defence Trade and Cooperation Treaty (DTCT)

To address these issues, the WATERGUARD programme was established. The programme is operated by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), a part of the UK Ministry of Defence. WATERGUARD is charged with delivering a portfolio of projects.

These will ensure that the MOD holds up to date information about the location, value and condition of equipment in the UK’s defence inventory.

The Solution

CGI was awarded contracts to design, deliver and manage a secure cloud-based service for:

  • Customs Compliance Management Information System (CCMIS)
  • Assets Subject to Special Controls (ASSC) Management Information System

The delivered solution comprises:

  • An application that automates business processes while providing access for users to intervene where needed
  • An intuitive and efficient user interface for military specialists
  • Management and operational information reporting
  • The creation of an auditable dataset that links the Defence Inventory (through the NATO Stock Number – NSN) to the HMRC tariff (Customs Commodity Codes - CCC) to enable process automation
  • Secure accredited cloud hosting that provides controlled access from the MOD network (DII) and the Internet for Industry users

The systems are classified at OFFICIAL with a handling caveat of SENSITIVE. The projects were delivered in-line with GDS principles. All service assessments prior to go-live were passed. A full RMADS was prepared, and the system passed an independent security health check, including penetration testing.

The service has been live since 2016 and on average handles over 30,000 assets per day.

The outcome

  • Management of MOD’s global assets
  • Demonstration of the export/import chain thus avoiding significant import tariffs
  • Compliance with all regulatory and export controls
  • MOD DAIS accreditation for both the application and secure hosting service
  • Integration with evolving and legacy back-end systems


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