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Getting Prepared for CDS Changes in September 2022


In September 2022 the HMRC CHIEF import service will be switched off and the only means of declaring goods to Customs in the UK will be via the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS). CHIEF exports will be switched off six months later at the end of March 2023. CDS is a replacement for the legacy CHIEF system that has been running in the UK since 1992 – to provide a sense of scale, CHIEF currently processes around three hundred million customs entries per year.

As with any new system, especially a sophisticated IT system, the delivery will be challenging.

CDS is already live In Northern Ireland and has been for imports since the 1st of January 2021. Here in Great Britain, there is already a small number of importers completing import customs entries.

The CDS Test Service is also live in addition to the legacy service. This is a test service which is available to traders who want to train on CDS in advance of the go live date. This Trader Dress Rehearsal service or TDR can only be accessed through CDS compliant software, so if you have customs entry software, you may wish to speak to your software developer.

UCH has already undertaken training on CDS with a view to early implementation for customers who are ready. We have taken part in Customs run training and have been completing CDS export and import declarations on the TDR service for some time now.

The learning curve is a steep one, but progress is good. The new system is highly process driven, and one thing that is apparent is that there will be an increase in the part the customer will have to play in the run up to an entry being ready to transmit.

We will issuing further guidance to our customers in due course.

CDS for the Exporter:

As an exporter, you will want to know what declarations have been made on your behalf.

Currently you can do this by purchasing the monthly CHIEF MSS Reports which provide details of what has been declared on your behalf using your EORI; CDS does not work in this way, so if you wish to obtain this information from CDS, you will need to register on the CDS portal.

CDS For the Importer:

As well as obtaining your declaration information, importers will need CDS access to download monthly Deferment Account statements and PVA statements and give agents authority to use deferment amongst other things.

So again, you will need to register on the CDS portal.

CDS Registration:

To access CDS, whether you want to complete Customs declarations, or you just want to download reports from the CDS Portal, you will need a Government Gateway account.

Most VAT registered traders already have a Government Gateway account to file their VAT returns, so adding CDS should not be too difficult, but make sure you still have those credentials, and of course do not forget the mobile phone number you used for the 2-stage identification process.

Speak to whoever holds the account in your organization and leave plenty of time to register, just in case.

Details of the CDS registration process can be found here.

If you have any questions about CDS or about using UCH to support your CDS entries, please speak to our sales team on who will direct your enquiry accordingly.