CDS - FAQs - The Institute of Export and International Trade

CDS – FAQS – IOE&IT

Days

:

Hrs

:

Min

Next deadline:
30 November 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

Important update! The UK government announced in August 2023 a new timeline for when businesses need to be completing export declarations using the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), adopting a “new phased approach” to the migration.

“Selected high-volume declarants” are being asked to move to CDS for exports by 30 November 2023, with all other businesses being required to use it by 30 March 2024.


Need answers to your Customs Declaration Service (CDS) questions? No problem, we’ve got you covered. Watch our Update on the CDS migration for exporters webinar or read our Customs Declaration Service FAQs below.

If you have any further questions or require our expert guidance and support, you can explore our full range of CDS solutions here.

A:  The CDS stands for the Customs Declarations Service. It is the replacement system for import and export declarations, with traders moving away from Customs Handing of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system by 30 September 2022 for import declarations.

“Selected high-volume declarants” are being asked to move to CDS for exports by 30 November 2023, with all other businesses being required to use it by 30 March 2024.
A:  Yes! The migration from CHIEF to CDS will not happen automatically – you must take action.

We would recommend taking action as soon as possible because the process may take some time.

This advice applies whether you make your own declarations or if someone submits import and export declarations on your behalf. You may not be able to continue trading if you do not move to the Customs Declaration Service in time.
A:  In some ways, CDS will require more information from you as a trader compared to the older system.

What were previously ‘boxes’ in CHIEF are now split into ‘Declaration Categories’ and ‘Data Elements’, many of which will require specific information that you may not be familiar with.

Whether you are handling clearances in-house, or outsourcing to an agent, it is strongly recommended that you establish clear, written instructions for the clearance process of your goods in light of these changes to avoid delays and mis-declarations.

The IOE&IT can help you learn to navigate the new CDS Tariff and make this as accessible as possible for you and your business.
A:  Firstly you will need to register your business to access CDS on the GOV.UK website.

You will need an EORI number and Government Gateway login linked to your company.

From there, follow the instructions on screen.

For further guidance on the use of CDS, you may wish to refer to our Trade Surgeries, dedicated Training Courses, or consult with our team by joining IOE&IT as a member.
A:  You might use a customs agent or fast parcel operator to make declarations on your behalf (and if you don’t, you may want to start – you’ll find a list of customs agents and fast parcel operators on GOV.UK. This list is regularly updated to show which agents are ready to use the Customs Declaration Service).

You must contact your customs agent(s) or fast parcels operator(s) to ensure they are up to speed with the requirements of CDS for your business.

You will also need to authorise them in CDS to continue making declarations for you. Failure to do so will mean they cannot clear your goods upon arrival. Refer to your agent/FPO to confirm the relevant details.

If you wish for the agent to use your DDA, this will need to be authorised in CDS as well.
A:  It is indeed important to get your import and export declarations correct and the IOE&IT can help you do that, with a range of training and consultancy support.

You can also test the new system by using HMRC’s Trader Dress Rehearsal Service, which lets you submit different declaration scenarios in a simulation of the CDS. You can submit real data and create realistic business scenarios involving all your supply chain partners.
A:  No – it is made up of various things, which could include including delivery costs, tools, drawings, artwork: do not assume the invoice value should be the cost declared to customs.
A:  Unfortunately customs duty is still payable on free of charge goods. See Customs Notice 252.
A: The UK government announced in August 2023 a new timeline for when businesses need to be completing export declarations using the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), adopting a “new phased approach” to the migration.

“Selected high-volume declarants” are being asked to move to CDS for exports by 30 November 2023, with all other businesses being required to use it by 30 March 2024.

After this date, UK businesses will use only the CDS to make export declarations.
A:  The extension to the CDS deadline allows the government to work with providers to test and continually improve the Customs Declaration Service’s (CDS) functionality.

It also allows declarants more time to prepare their business and teams to successfully move to and confidently use the CDS system.


Find out how IOE&IT can help you be ready for CDS