HMRC migrating to new import declaration system

By Paul Kelly in News Posted: 5th, April, 2022

The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) will become the only UK customs platform when HMRC turns off the legacy CHIEF system and businesses importing goods into the UK will have to register for access.

The customs handling of import and export freight system (CHIEF) has been in use by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for nearly 30 years. CHIEF identifies goods for checks at ports and airports and is the channel for submitting customs declarations, making it critical to the flow of international trade.

The decision to replace CHIEF with the new customs declaration service (CDS) was made in 2015, before the EU referendum and CDS was due to launch once the UK left the European Union (EU), but it was not ready to handle the large increase in customs declarations, so the government focused on updating CHIEF, adding functionality to the system.

Instead of switching off CHIEF, HMRC launched a dual approach, with traders using CHIEF for customs declarations relating to imports in Great Britain, and CDS for those relating to Northern Ireland, until CDS had been scaled to be able to handle the increased volumes of declarations.

The government now feels confident that CDS can be rolled out completely, so HMRC is moving from paper-based rules on CHIEF, to data processing rules on CDS in two stages:

  • 30th September 2022 – Import declarations will no longer be accepted via CHIEF
  • 31st March 2023 – Export declarations will no longer be accepted via CHIEF and the National Export System (NES)

CDS is replacing the HMRC legacy system for processing customs declarations and even though we will be preparing and submitting these declarations on behalf of our customers, you must request access to CDS so that your business can:

  • Get Import VAT statements and certificates to assist you in completing your VAT returns
  • Set up a new direct debit mandate, if you’re a deferment account holder

Request access to CDS through existing government gateway account, using this LINK

If you are a deferment account holder, you should use the link below to set up a new direct-debit mandate for CDS, as the one for CHIEF will not work.
You will also need to authorise us to your deferment account (DAN) on your financial account for CDS on the gov gateway, or entries submitted will not go through.

General CDS info
Set up Gov gateway
Create CDS specific direct debit
Authority to use your duty deferment approval number

You will need to provide HMRC with the following:

  • EORI number
  • Unique Tax Reference Number (UTR)
  • Registered business address for Customs records
  • The date on which you started your business

Once registered for CDS you will be able to view your “financial dashboard” on the Government Gateway, which is where you can set up a new direct debit mandate for your deferment account.

The application process should only take a few minutes and we recommend that you get access now, so that you are ready to get your first import VAT statement.

If you have not registered for CDS, or are uncertain how it applies to you, we can guide you through the changes and actions required. Contact us now for further information, or to discuss your situation.

Chloe Henshall – Logistics & Customs Compliance Manager.
+44 (0) 1614367041

Recent Posts
Emissions Trading Scheme surcharge

30th, November, 2023

The EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) was established in 2005 to tackle greenhouse gas…

Asia to US East/West Coast rate disparity falls

30th, November, 2023

Historically East Coast sea freight rates from Asia have always been significantly higher than West…

EU rolling out CO2 linked road toll increases

30th, November, 2023

European road freight rates will be under pressure from the 1st December as a new…