HMRC has extended the deadline for exporters to move across to the UK’s new digital customs platform.
The new deadline for businesses to make export declarations using CDS is now 30 November 2023, representing an extension of eight months on the previous switchover date.
The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) has been in development since before the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, and is slowly being rolled out for importers and exporters, having being running since 2018.
The new system a represents a “significant upgrade by providing businesses with a more user-friendly, streamlined system that offers greater functionality,” according to HMRC.
The old system, the Customs Handing of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF), will be fully closed after the November deadline passes.
Sarah Hartley, Director of Border Change Delivery at HMRC said: “We have moved the deadline to enable us to spend more time working with industry in delivering and testing critical functionality as well as the support needed to help declarants move across to the new system.”
Andy Bridges, a customs consultant at the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT), commented on the delay: “I’m not too surprised at the move by HMRC.”
“It’s a similar scenario to the extensions that were put in place for importers. The move gives traders more time to come to terms with what will be a massive change in and enhancement of HMRC protocols and processes.
“This means more time to adapt and train with CDS, giving exporters the opportunity to avoid complications and systems errors that working with any new system can bring.”
Previously, CHIEF closed for importers on 30 September.
However, users were allowed to apply for permission to continue using the system up until 31 October on a temporary basis.
The FT reports that, according to data provided to MPs by HMRC, in the week commencing 7 November more than 4,700 businesses had made import declarations CDS, but 1,287 had yet to sign up to it.