HMRC issues notice confirming date for final switchover from CHIEF to CDS

Thu 1 Jun 2023
Posted by: Richard Cree
Trade News

Customs paperwork being filled in

HMRC has issued a notice to all UK exporters confirming that the switchover from the current Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system to the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) will take place from September 2023, with all users required to be making declarations through the new system no later than 30 November 2023.

The notice includes guidance for what export declarants can do now to prepare for CDS, including:

  • Applying for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number beginning with GB
  • Subscribing to CDS, so they will be able to submit export declarations through the system
  • Reading the latest available CDS guidance on gov.uk including HMRC’s CDS toolkit and an explainer of the key differences between CHIEF and CDS

Future communications

The notice alerts exporters to the fact that government will be in touch next month to make sure they are prepared and ready to make the declarations that they need to complete from September onwards.

To do this will require new software or use the HMRC export declaration online service, which is replacing the existing National Export System (NES) web service that some SMEs currently use to submit through CHIEF.

Because of the phased nature of the introduction of CDS, HMRC is clear that it wants export declarants to wait for HMRC, or their software developers, to notify them that they can start submitting via CDS.

This has already started with the highest-volume declarants who use the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS).

If exporters haven’t been contacted before September 2023, HMRC suggests continuing to submit through CHIEF.

Deadlines unlikely to move

Speaking on a recent IOE&IT webinar about the CDS deadline for exporters, IOE&IT trade and customs specialist Matt Vick said the November deadline is unlikely to move.

“A lot of people have asked the question, will the exports deadline be delayed, like with the imports switchover.

“We can’t predict the future, but we’re assuming the government wants to stick to the current dates – the switch to November was already a significant extension.

“They’ll need to see what progress they make resolving some of the issues on the import side, but I think the government would say that businesses have had plenty of time to get ready for this transition. Businesses have known about this switch for over a year.”

Vick added that exporters can make use of the IOE&IT’s training and consultancy support to get ready for the CDS switchover.