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CHIEF to CDS switchover

HMRC has confirmed that after 5 years of preparation, the current CHIEF (Customs Handling Imports and Exports Freight) platform will be finally phased out and replaced by the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

This will see customs declarations moving from a system based on paperwork to a digital platform, representing a significant upgrade by providing businesses with a more user-friendly, streamlined system that offers greater functionality.

The Customs Declaration Service will become the UK’s single, digital customs platform, with all businesses needing to use it to declare their imported goods after 30 September 2022, and exported goods after 30 March 2024 (previously set for 30 November 2023). However, as of 5 July CHIEF is no longer accepting new importers, hence pushing these traders into using CDS instead.

It takes time to move declarations from CHIEF to CDS and there are many factors to take in consideration. Traders need to start getting ready now and avoid further delay as the sooner they start the easier the transition will be, but more importantly, missing the target date means they won’t be able to trade.

On 23 August 2023, HMRC announced a new phased approach for businesses moving export declarations to the new CDS system. Read the update on the implementation of CDS and the transition from CHIEF.

HMRC has created a toolkit and checklist to help traders move onto the new Customs Declaration Service.

Find out more about London Chamber’s Customs Declaration Services.

Find out more about CHIEF to CDS trainings.