Customs Declaration System launch: migration timetable extended

Thu 16 Apr 2020
Posted by: Ana Pintor
Trade News

HMRC has announced a further extension to the dual running of existing customs declaration system, CHIEF, alongside the long-planned new system known as CDS.

CDS (Customs Declaration System) was due to replace CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight), which is more than 25 years old in September 2020.

In the meantime, the two systems were being run in parallel to ease the migration process.

Yesterday (15 April) HMRC said CHIEF would be kept open beyond December 2020, when the UK’s transition period is due to end, with the dual running of the systems continuing.

“Throughout this partnership we have listened to our key partners about the pace of change, and therefore have decided to extend our migration timelines and keep CHIEF open beyond December 2020,” a HMRC spokesperson said.

“This means that we will dual-run CHIEF and CDS for longer, until all traders are migrated from CHIEF, and therefore traders will not need to move from CHIEF to CDS by the end of September 2020.”

The UK freight forwarder body BIFA welcomed the delay on behalf of members, who will be ultimately responsible for entering customs declarations into the system.

The government originally planned for all customs declarations to take place on CDS from January 2019.

Pre-referendum decision

The decision to replace CHIEF with CDS was made before the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016.

A plan was then implemented to scale up CDS to handle the predicted increase in customs declarations post-Brexit – a rise estimated to be from the current 50 million declarations to 300 million after the transition period ends in January 2021.