Customs Declaration Service to become UK’s single customs platform

HMRC will be closing its Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system on 31 March 2023. From this date, all businesses will need to declare goods through the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

CDS is currently used for Northern Ireland and Rest of World declarations and has already processed more than one million declarations since it went live in 2018.

Ahead of the 31 March 2023 complete closure, services on CHIEF will be withdrawn in two stages:

  • 30 September 2022: import declarations close on CHIEF
  • 31 March 2023: export declarations close on CHIEF / National Exports System (NES)

Sophie Dean and Katherine Green, Directors General for Borders and Trade at HMRC, said:

CDS is a key part of the government’s plans for a world-leading fully digitised border that will help UK businesses to trade and to prosper.

This announcement will provide clarity for traders and the border industry. We are committed to making the switch-over as smooth as possible and are working to ensure traders are fully supported with the new processes.

CDS has been developed over a number of years in consultation with the border industry and will provide a more secure and stable platform that has the capacity and capability to grow in line with the government’s ambitious trade plans. The move to one system for all imports and exports will also deliver savings for the taxpayer.

There’s further information on GOV.UK to help businesses and agents prepare for CDS, and there are also a number of live customer support services available. 

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