The Customs Declaration Service
22/09/2022

Businesses importing goods must submit import declarations from 1 October 2022 using the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). The CDS is a customs IT platform designed to modernise the process for completing customs declarations for businesses that import or export goods from and to the UK.

A phased launch of the service started in August 2018. The CDS is used for making import and export declarations when moving goods into and out of the UK. The closure of the old Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) service is imminent.

The CHIEF system is being withdrawn in two stages. The first stage, on 30 September 2022 will see the ability to make import declarations on CHIEF closed. This is a critical date. Businesses that still have not moved across to the CDS will be unable to import goods into the UK from 1 October 2022.

Even businesses that use a customs agents need to ensure they take the following steps:

  • subscribe to the CDS;
  • choose a payment method;
  • check their standing authorities are correctly set up; and
  • give their customs agent customs clearance instructions.

The CHIEF system will fully close on 31 March 2023 when the ability to make export declarations will also be withdrawn and businesses required to use the CDS.

HMRC’s Director of Programme and Operational Delivery for Borders and Trade said:

'Those concerned about moving across to the Customs Declaration Service should work with a customs agent who is ready to use the system and can make declarations on their behalf.'


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Established in 1991 based in Epsom Surrey, CWM use technology to its fullest extent enabling us to work with clients based anywhere, with maximum efficiency resulting in lower costs.

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