• Date

    14 Jul 2022
  • Category

    Customs and Excise Duties, VAT & Indirect Tax

UK customs declaration system changes

The UK’s phased move to a new single customs platform begins on 30 September 2022, and it’s important that businesses, if not already using the system, plan ahead to ensure no adverse impact on trading.

The current CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) system which is used to make customs declarations to HMRC is set to close, and it will be replaced by the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). 

This switch will impact customs agents, freight forwarders and any business which currently makes customs declarations using the CHIEF system, as well as businesses which use another party or agent to submit declarations on their behalf. Action will need to be taken to ensure that importers and exporters can continue to make customs declarations and view declarations made on their behalf online. 

The CHIEF system will be closed in two phases:

  • On 30 September 2022, it will no longer accept customs import declarations
  • On 31 March 2023, the export customs declaration facility will close

Additionally, it was recently announced by HMRC that any new registration requests from importers will now need to be processed through CDS. As of 5 July 2022, the CHIEF system no longer accepts these requests. 

Existing importers can continue to make import declarations and apply to import from a new location on the CHIEF system until it closes on 30 September 2022. 

To be able to use CDS, businesses are required to have the following:

  • A Government Gateway account
  • An Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number 
  • A Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)

Further information on subscription to CDS can be found here.

The system switch promises a more seamless declaration process for all goods, and it is expected to lead to reduced operational costs and administration in the longer term. However, businesses need to prepare now for the change to ensure that they provide sufficient information for the new CDS declaration format and so any movement of goods can proceed as normal.

For further information regarding the move to the Customs Declaration Service, please speak with your usual Azets contact or Lucy Sutcliffe, Partner and Head of Customs. 

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