News

HMRC CDS Update for Importers & Exporters

Tuesday 20th February 2018

The letter below is HMRC's "perfect world" view of where we are going with CDS at a very high level. We are working with HMRC to deliver the Ricardo CDS solution that is workable for all concerned and will let you know the detail as it becomes available.


Dear customer,

As you may know, HMRC has been developing a new system for processing customs declarations for imports and exports. The current system, the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF), will be replaced by the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). We will begin a phased launch of CDS from August 2018.

Why CDS is replacing CHIEF
CHIEF is one of the world's largest and most sophisticated electronic services for managing customs declaration processes, but it's nearly 25 years old and can't be easily adapted to new requirements.

The decision to replace CHIEF with CDS was made before the EU referendum however CDS will be scaled to handle any potential increases in the volume of declarations that may result from the UK's exit from the EU.

How this will affect you as an importer and exporter
If you import or export goods outside the EU, you or your agent will be currently using CHIEF to:

• process declarations for goods entering and leaving the UK or EU through ports and airports
• calculate and pay the correct duty and taxes
• complete customs information electronically.

You will still be able to do these things on CDS, but there will be differences:

• CDS will be accessed on GOV.UK through a Government Gateway account
• CDS will offer several new and existing services in one place - for example, you will be able to view previous import and export data on pre-defined reports, check the tariff, apply for new authorisations and simplifications, and check your duty deferment statement
• online help will include self-service tools, guides and checklists
• some additional information will be required for declarations in order to align with the World Customs Organisation Kyoto Convention, currently being implemented in the UK through the Union Customs Code (UCC).

When will I need to start using CDS?
CDS will be phased in between August and early 2019, with CHIEF continuing to run during this time to aid the transition. You or your agent will be informed by your software provider when you need to provide the additional information in order to start making declarations on CDS.
We will keep you updated as the system develops. There will also be regular updates about CDS on GOV.UK.

HM Revenue & Customs