Customs Declaration Service to Become UK’s Single Customs Platform

Share This Post

After March 31, 2023, the Customs Handling Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system will be replaced by the Customs Declaration Service, which will become the unified customs platform for the United Kingdom. A preliminary step toward the eventual end of operations, the import declaration feature will be disabled on September 30.

The letter provides information about the transition currently being worked on to move all customs operations in the United Kingdom onto a single platform known as the Customs Declaration Service. It also outlines the steps that companies need to take to get ready for the change and the assistance and direction available to support them as they go through the process.

The Customs Declaration Service is built on cutting-edge technology, and it gives users access to a flexible, scalable, and secure platform. To this day, it has dealt with more than 2.5 million declarations. Declarants are being encouraged by HMRC to use the assistance provided to begin the transition to the Customs Declaration Service as soon as possible. This assistance can be accessed either by trying to work with a software developer or Community System Provider or by obtaining the assistance themselves to get ready for the transition, which could take anywhere from three to six months, turning on the size and complexity of the organization.

The following statement was released by Katherine Green and Sophie Dean, who both are Directors General for Borders and Trade at HMRC:

  • We are aware that implementing new regulations can provide several challenges, and we are grateful for all of the industry’s work to ensure that goods continue to flow. The Customs Declaration Service gives us the capacity and capability to expand in line with the ambitious trade goals of the government and to have the world’s most extensive customs system by the year 2025. This goal is attainable thanks to the ambitious trade plans of the government.
  • Because we are aware that switching operating systems can be a time-consuming procedure, we request that companies begin the migration process as soon as possible.

To the best of our abilities, we will assist businesses in rectifying this situation.

The HMRC plans to stop using the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system on March 31, 2023. As of this day, all commercial enterprises must use the Customs Declaration Service to register their shipments of products (CDS).

Since it went live in 2018, CDS has already handled more than one million declarations and is now utilized for processing declarations about Northern Ireland and the Rest of the World.

Before the final shutdown on March 31, 2023, the services provided by CHIEF will be phased out in two stages as follows:

  • The deadline for submitting import declarations on CHIEF is September 30, 2022.
  • CHIEF and the National Exports System (NES) will stop accepting export declarations on March 31, 2023.

The Customs Declaration Service, often known as CDS, is an essential part of the government’s plans to build a world-leading, completely digitalized border that will help businesses in the United Kingdom trade more effectively and flourish. These goals will be accomplished by implementing the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

Traders and the border business will benefit from this declaration’s certainty. We are dedicated to ensuring that the transition is as easy as possible and are working hard to provide traders with the support they need to implement the new procedures successfully.

CDS was created over the years in collaboration with the border sector. It will provide a securer and more trustworthy platform and can grow in line with the ambitious trade ambitions of the government. The transition to a single system that handles all imports and exports will result in cost savings for the government.

New Customs and Border Protection systems will offer a more secure and stable foundation, with the potential to expand by the government’s ambitious trade goals to have the world’s most efficient customs system by 2025.


For us (or any other customs broker in the UK) to continue managing UK export or UK import customs filings on your behalf, all firms MUST register themselves for CDS through their Government Gateway portals. This is a requirement.

The registration procedure takes less than five minutes, and verification from Government Gateway is often obtained within twenty-four hours.

About 30 years ago, HMRC began using the CHIEF customs system to handle the import and export freight it receives and issues. In use for a long time now. Its primary responsibility is to process declarations to ease the flow of products across international borders, particularly between the UK and countries not part of the EU. Over the years, technological advancements have occurred, and the CHIEF system is not readily adaptable to new requirements. Therefore, preparations for the retirement of CHIEF have been in the works for a considerable amount of time; a project to replace CHIEF was finally announced in 2015, and a system provider was chosen the following year.

Before the EU vote, it was decided that HMRC’s new customer declaration service, CDS, would replace CHIEF. Nonetheless, advances since then have been incorporated into the design to guarantee that CDS is scalable enough to meet the increase in declaration volume that will arise from Brexit. The Customs and Border Protection industry was consulted during the development of the Customer Declaration Service (CDS), which will result in a platform that is both more secure and more stable. CDS possesses the capacity and potential to expand in step with the ambitions for the UK’s trade. The transition to the new system is also predicted to result in taxpayer cost savings.

For more details connect with us!!!!

More To Explore