Imports and Exports – The new way for your business to declare

30 Oct 2018


If you import or export goods from or to outside the EU, you or your agent should now be aware of upcoming changes to the way you make Customs Declarations.  HMRC has begun phasing in the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) to replace the existing Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

When you start using CDS will depend on your (or your agent’s) software developer or Community System Provider, and HMRC expect remaining importers will start to move over to CDS early in the New Year.

Exporters will migrate to CDS when export functionality becomes available in March 2019.

From the outset, HMRC has made it a priority that CDS is introduced without impacting imports or exports and CHIEF is being tested to make sure it is capable of managing any increase in the volume of declarations expected when the UK leaves the European Union (EU).

Checklist – what do I need to do?

  • Visit Customs Declaration Service to understand how the changes affect your business and what you will need to do to prepare for the introduction of CDS and when. This includes making sure you have a Government Gateway account and an EORI number.
  • A new Trade Tariff will be used for declarations on CDS to comply with the Union Customs Code (UCC) so it is important you take the time to understand how the information you provide as part of your declarations will change. The imports tariff can be found on GOV.UK via the link above. The exports Tariff will be available later in the year.
  • If you use a software provider or agent, you may also want to check they are aware and are preparing for the new CDS.
  • If you use a C88 form or the National Export System to make declarations, please click here visit the CDS web page  where you can find more information.