HMRC brings in new form for reporting declaration problems after resolving last week's CDS issue

Mon 20 Mar 2023
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News


HMRC has today (20 March) issued a new form for traders to report any technical problems that they may encounter when trying to submit declarations using the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

The government has said the new online form will make resolving issues “as easy as possible” with urgent enquiries to be dealt with within two hours and all other enquiries responded to within a day.


HMRC has said that the form should be used for any issue regarding submitting declarations, unless the problem relates to:

  • Registering to CDS
  • The CDS dashboard in
    • In which case, users should raise a support ticket by clicking the ‘Get help with this page’ link at the bottom of the screen
  • The Trader Dress Rehearsal

CDS issues

The news comes after HMRC dealt with an issue affecting the submission of import declarations last week. The business continuity plan, which was established for the period in which HMRC worked to resolve the issue, was lifted at 2pm on Thursday 16 March.

HMRC’s Joint Customs Consultative Committee (JCCC) wrote to industry stakeholders last Wednesday to say that the vast majority of import declarations had been released but that officials were continuing to work through declarations submitted for “lower use commodity codes”.

It said requests for support from the National Clearance Hub and CDS helpdesk were reducing due to the fix that was implemented.

The JCCC said it appreciated that the issue had “caused frustration and disruption” and apologised for “inconvenience caused”.

A “thorough review” is now taking place by HMRC, with its government partners, to “assess what went wrong and how we can prevent it happening again in the future”.

New guidance

HMRC also issued new declaration completion instructions “in relation to declaration validation changes” being introduced in the latest update to CDS (CDS 4.0.0).

“This guidance sets out the completion instructions that declarations will need to comply with post release,” the JCCC wrote. “Please be advised that this will affect any declarations pre-lodged prior to release 4.0.0. going live.”

Guidance is being updated on to align with the updates.

Spring Budget

In its latest Borders Bulletin, Cabinet Office also noted the new package of “measures to streamline and simplify customs processes” that were announced in last week’s Spring Budget.

The package includes “giving traders more time to submit declarations after crossing the border, streamlining customs and excise authorisations, and consulting on voluntary standards for the customs intermediary sector.”

The IOE&IT is running a free webinar about the measures on Tuesday 28 March, which you can sign up to here.