Your data, and the new Customs Declaration Service

CDS - what is it and what do you need to know?
Cloud connecting devices to CDS

Four years later than planned, HMRC is making the move to CDS in 2022. But did you know that you might need to register for the Customs Declaration Service as a trader, not only if you are a customs broker?

Whilst CDS is replacing the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system so that it can more data can be processed and harvested efficiently, it is also bringing with it more reporting and compliance capabilities.

Part of this is the addition of more secure deferment and direct authorisation, which requires traders and freight forwarders to be registered on CDS and their Customs Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG) number to be given to their customs agent in order for them to transmit a customs declaration on their behalf.

Therefore, if your EORI is currently used on import declarations, you need to register for the Customs Declaration Service.

Why is CHIEF being changed to CDS?

The Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) has managed customs clearances in the UK since 1994. Although CHIEF still works for the purposes of everyday import and export declarations in the UK, it is still processing far more entries than it was designed to do.

Additionally, the UK Government – along with the rest of the world – is moving towards digital customs clearance initiatives such as the Single Trade Window. CHIEF does not have the processing power to keep up with these newer-age technologies, and would hinder the UK’s advancement in this area.

When is the change being made?

Whilst customs brokers are looking to move customer over to CDS as soon as possible, the following deadlines have been imposed on CHIEF:

  • CHIEF will cease import declarations on 30th September 2022,
  • CHIEF will cease export declarations – and be shut down permanently – on 31st March 2023.

There is a lot of admin to be done by traders, forwarders, and customs agents when moving over to the Customs Declaration Service, so we recommend moving over as soon as possible to avoid last-minute setbacks and potential interruptions of trade.

Do I need to be on CDS?

You will need to be registered on the Customs Declaration Service if any of the following apply to you:

  • You are an importer/exporter.
  • You have a deferment account.
  • You are a freight forwarder that has your name/EORI on customs declarations, even if you do not process them. IE use a customs agent.

Once registered, you will receive your company import declaration information and access to your monthly deferment account and postponed VAT account statements. You will also be able to give authority to use your deferment account on your behalf and see additional confidential importer government services. If you hold a UK customs deferment account you need to advise your Customs Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG) number to your customs agent for them to continue the use of it – this acts as an authorisation number on your declaration.

Where do I register for the Customs Declaration Service?

You can register to CDS through your company’s Government Gateway Account. More information can be found on this link: GOV.UK

If you need assistance or information on the Customs Declaration Service, please contact one of our experts for advice.