New customs IT platform – get ready for the change

Melanie Richardson


The UK customs declaration service CDS is replacing the CHIEF system. Get ready for the deadlines in September 2022 and March 2023.

The UK customs authority HMRC is closing the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system on 31 March 2023.  It is being replaced with the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) as the new UK’s single customs platform.  All businesses managing UK customs declarations will need to declare goods using the Customs Declaration Service.

HMRC is implementing the replacement system in two phases:

  • From 30 September 2022 you will no longer be able to make import declarations using CHIEF.
  • From 31 March 31 2023, you will no longer be able to make export declarations using CHIEF and the National Export System (NES).

The use of CHIEF to submit import declarations for goods brought into Northern Ireland from outside the UK and the EU was phased out earlier.  Since 31 October 2021, the Customs Declaration Service has replaced CHIEF for such transactions.  From January 2021, importers must use CDS or the Trader Support Service (TSS) for all shipments into Northern Ireland from mainland GB.

What are the key differences?

There are some distinct differences between how you make declarations on the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) compared to how it is currently done on Customs Handling of Imports and Exports Freight (CHIEF).  These differences are applicable to Customs legislation; tarrif – declaration completion requirements, data entry, procedure codes & more.

For detailed information on the differences between systems please follow the HMRC link below:

How to subscribe or check if you have access to the Customs Declaration Service

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