Government celebrates Customs Declaration Service milestone as it shifts focus to exports

Fri 10 Feb 2023
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

HMRC sign

The UK government’s Customs Declaration Service (CDS) has hit an important milestone as the switchover from the old Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system continues.

According to a letter from Sarah Hartley, director of borders & trade at HMRC, a total of 29 million import declarations have been made as of 9 February 2023.

98% of all import declarations were submitted using CDS software as of 23 January this year.

29 million

CDS is the new platform for customs declarations and has been in development since before the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016.

It is slowly being rolled out for importers and exporters, having being running since 2018.

CHIEF closed for importers in 2022, but still remains open to exporters.

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.

Shift to exports

The letter also announced that the government’s efforts have shifted to export declarations:

“Although we'll continue to support the small number of declarants that still need to use CHIEF for import declarations, our focus has shifted to delivering export migration by 30  November 2023.”

As previously reported by the IOE&IT Daily Update, the Joint Customs Consultative Committee (JCCC) released a schedule of coming changes to CDS.

The JCCC is a HMRC-sponsored forum featuring representatives from the business community, including the Institute of Export & International Trade.

The final deadline for the switchover is 30 November 2023.

CDS webinar

On 15 March 2023, the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) will be hosting a free webinar about what traders need to do to prepare for the CDS exporter deadline.

Read more here.