Queen Elizabeth II 1926 - 2022

Move to new customs system or risk delays to imports, businesses warned

More than 3,500 British firms have been warned that they face significant delays to their imports, if they do not move over to the UK’s new Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) says the current Customs Handling Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system will soon close for import declarations, and businesses submitting import declarations must use the CDS from 1 October 2022.

Weeks to move to new system

It can take several weeks to be fully set up on the CDS so those waiting to register risk being unable to import goods to the UK from 1 October.

Julie Etheridge, HMRC’s director of programme and operational delivery for borders and trade, said: “There are now only two months left until businesses must use CDS for imports.

“Businesses need to move now or risk being unable to bring their goods into the UK.”

Important to be prepared

Deputy director of the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) academy Vicky Payne said:

“With the new changes coming into place, I would highly recommend that firms properly understand all the elements of a customs declaration in addition to having access to the relevant platforms and other preparations for CDS.”

According to the IOE&IT, the key elements are:

  • Data element fields for completing a declaration, which are restricted to specific formats rather than CHIEF’s free text format
  • A dashboard to monitor and manage declarations
  • CDS separates the customs procedure code into two parts – a four-digit code combined with one of up to 99 three-digit additional procedure codes.

Updating the Duty Deferment Account

Once registered, businesses which use a Duty Deferment Account will need to set up a new Direct Debit Instruction for the CDS by 30 September.

Otherwise, the Duty Deferment Account will no longer be usable, and individual immediate payments will be required each time an import declaration is made.

Further information is on the Government website.

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