What is the customs declaration service (CDS)?

The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is a new system introduced to replace CHIEF (Customs Handling Import and Export Freight). CDS will affect the way you create import and export declarations as its introduction looks to streamline the customs process, bringing a more modern approach to international trade through a digitised customs platform.

While the official deadline for CDS Exports remains 30 March 2024, declarants will have until 4 June 2024 to migrate permanently  – CHIEF is already closed for importers. Therefore, it is critical that businesses are up-to-date and knowledgeable on the new systems operation and requirements. 

Discover training

What CDS support is available from the Chartered Institute?

Advanced Guide For Completing Customs Declarations

Advanced Guide to Completing Customs Declarations

Learn everything you need to know to compliantly and efficiently use the new CDS systems for import and export declarations.

Introduction To Cds Elearning

Elearning: Introduction to CDS

Need a refresher or are you new to HMRC's CDS system? Take our elearning course and familiarise yourself with how to use the Customs Declaration Service.

Member exclusive International Trade Technical Helpline On A Phone

International Trade Technical Helpline

This member-exclusive benefit enables you to get immediate answers and solutions to any challenges you face using the CDS.

"The new phased approach from HMRC will be welcomed by many exporters. The Chartered Institute is keen to ensure that all businesses get the support they need with the migration – particularly lower-volume declarants who are unsure about their readiness for using CDS." - Kevin Shakespeare | Chartered Institute of Export & International Trade

Find solutions and get answers from our customs and trade experts

Get expert advice from a Declaration Service expert

Get answers to all your CDS questions on a two-hour phone session with one of our international trade experts. Through our CDS trade surgeries, you can set the agenda based on your specific requirements and receive specific advice for your customs and trade queries.

Extended advisory sessions fully tailored to your pressing issues or asks are also available. Our experienced team are on hand to assist in structuring advisory packages around your business.


Business members

The Chartered Institute of Export & International Trade business members can take advantage of 25% off our consultancy offerings. Get the support you need for your business to navigate the Customs Declaration Service today.


Get dedicated support on a 1-to-1 level with one of our Customs Declaration Service experts and find solutions and opportunities for your business.

We are here to help

Whether you have a question or need in-depth support, our team are readily on hand to answer your queries.

Call us:

+44 1733 404400