CDS 999L Code Extended in UK


The use of the CDS document waiver code 999L has been extended until 31st January 2024 for imports, and January 2025 for exports. Find out more in this article.

What is the 999L document waiver code on CDS?

The 999L code on the Customs Declaration Service waives the requirement for additional documentation relating to prohibition and restrictions (P&Rs). The use of 999L allows you to skip adding documentation information that is usually required for the item’s commodity code.

If you are familiar with the old Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system, then you will recognise that the 999L code on CDS is similar to LIC99. In fact, the code was not originally part of CDS but was added due to trader feedback that it was necessary for procedural and technical reasons relating to the transition from CHIEF to CDS.

The 999L code should only be used in circumstances where you are absolutely sure that your goods are not controlled, or where it is required to get an entry through that is otherwise compliant. Both import clearances and export declarations allow the use of this code.

Note that the CDS code 999L is not a Union Customs Code (UCC) and therefore cannot be used on goods moving in or out of Northern Ireland.

Why is the 999L code being removed from CDS?

The 999L CDS code was not originally intended to be added to the Customs Declaration Service, but was created to assist with processing declarations after receiving concerns from traders.

However, HMRC would like to leave this mechanism behind with LIC99 and CHIEF so that the risk of misuse is eliminated and controlled goods will be monitored more correctly.

Importers and exporters were originally advised that the use of the 999L code would expire in 2023, but the delay of some traders to the CDS system and higher-priority customs updates have caused this to be delayed as well.

When do you need to stop using the 999L code on the Customs Declaration Service?

You can use the 999L code on Customs Declaration Service until:

  • 31st January 2024 for import declarations.
  • 31st January 2025 for export declarations.

When the code is removed, you will need to have your additional document lines completed in a compliant way for your declaration to go through. You can find details of the affected codes below.

If there are any queries, then these will need to be resolved before customs clearance will be granted. If you are concerned about how your declarations will be affected by the removal of the 999L code on CDS, contact us for guidance.