Trader’s checklist for moving to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS)


You can now begin your transition to the Customs Declaration Service. Customs Declaration Service is a modern IT platform with the scalability to expand in accordance with the government’s plans to create the most efficient customs system in the world by 2025.

If your company is registered for VAT, you may already be utilising the Customs Declaration Service for VAT-related transactions. Check with your organisation to determine if you are already registered, and verify that HMRC has the necessary contact information for your firm.

The Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system will be discontinued.

The CHIEF system will be shut down in two stages: After September 30 2022, import declarations will no longer be permitted. Phase two: The ability to make export declarations will terminate on March 31, 2023. Subsequently, you will be required to declare all imports and exports using the Customs Declaration Service.

If someone else files your customs declarations, such as a customs broker or agent, you must determine if they are currently using CHIEF. If so, they must ensure that your declarations are transferred to the Customs Declaration Service before CHIEF closes.

Customs-Declarations.UK provides an intuitive and interactive way to submit your customs declaration most effectively and efficiently. Please get in touch with us today to learn more about our services. 

The following are the five steps required for you to transition to the Customs Declaration Service:

Step 1: Create an account on the Government Gateway.

The majority of businesses currently have a Government Gateway account to access their personal or corporate tax account. This account is required to access the Customs Declaration Service.
If you do not have a Government Gateway account, you can create one.

Step 2: Apply for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification number.

Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) numbers must begin with the letter GB. The majority of enterprises transferring goods into and out of the United Kingdom already have one.

If you do not have an EORI number, you can apply for one. It costs nothing and only ten minutes to apply. You should receive your EORI number within a week, although it may take longer at peak times.

Step 3: Register for the Customs Declaration Service

You must register with the Customs Declaration Service. This may take up to five business days. You’ll need your personal or business Government Gateway user ID and password. Additionally, you need:

  • your GB EORI number
  • your 10-digit Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number – you can find this on any HMRC payment reminders, or in your personal tax account
  • the address for your business that is on HMRC records
  • your National Insurance number (if you’re an individual or sole trader)
  • the date you started your business

Step 4: Select the payment method to use.

You may choose the appropriate payment method for your declaration. 

In the Customs Declaration Service Financial Dashboard, you may view your balances and payments and give and modify standing authorities for your payment accounts.

Following are the payment methods that you can choose: 

  • Duty Deferment Account – the Customs Declaration Service uses a distinct HMRC bank account to CHIEF; thus, a new direct debit must be set up.
  • Postponed VAT Accounting – Determine whether you can or must account for import VAT on your VAT return if you’re making declarations for yourself and your business is VAT-registered in the United Kingdom.
  • Cash Account – These replace the Flexible Accounting System (FAS), and once you’ve registered for the Customs Declaration Service, you’ll be assigned one.
  • Immediate Payment by Bacs, CHAPS, online or by telephone banking – you can pay by debit, corporate credit card or cheque
  • Individual Guarantee – you can use these to cover customs duties for one-off or high-value imports.
  • General Guarantee Account  – allows you to provide multiple guarantees from the same account and continue importing goods into the UK and paying a disputed amount later once agreed.

Step 5: Instruct your customs broker or agent

You must provide your broker or agent with Customs Declaration Service-compliant customs clearing instructions. 

You might have to:

  • Utilise the Customs Declaration Service Finance Dashboard to configure, verify, and update the customs agents who have access to your accounts.
  • Inform them of any changes to your preferred payment method.
  • Inform them of the incoterms, sensitivity to all values, geographical information, and purpose of the transaction.

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