( CDS ) Customs Declaration Service

The Customs Declaration Service or CDS is the replacement system for CHIEF. The switch-over for importers occurs in September of 2022 with exports moving over from March 2023. There is still a lot of work to do for all parties concerned in the supply chain. Shippers, Importers and Freight Forwarders all need to ensure they are ready for CDS.

H.M Revenue & Customs Computer Systems

( CHIEF ) Customs Handling of Import & Export

CHIEF’s role is to manage the data behind import & export movements across the UK border. Calculate and record all revenues. Duties / Taxes & Excise being the main revenues recorded. CHIEF allowed UK traders to communicate with counterpart systems in other member states of the EU. It manages trade movements across EU borders where the material belonged to a UK trader. It was designed originally to become fully conversant across all European trading data. In reality the project was never completed due to software complexity across the EU. CDS has less need to be as inclusive as CHIEF. Since “BREXIT” it only needs to focus on UK trade. Not fully simplified as the UK still remains committed to the Union Customs Code ( UCC ). A European initiative to standardise data.

CDS and September 2022

The new data system, CDS, is designed as a more modern and flexible system. As the UK experiences future growth CDS can grow with it. Both import and export data including the new trade agreements with nations across the world. For freight forwarders, Shippers and importers there will be differences in the the information needed for customs declarations. The UK Trade tariff is changing. As it adapts to the Union Customs code the data CDS captures will be more consistent.

For a number of importers and exporters the paperwork that shippers are providing now will need to improve. Paperwork missing HS Codes and Countries of Origin is regular. The biggest omission by far is a licencing statement. The strengthening of Indirect and direct representation rules has helped but with the additional declarations within CDS freight forwarders will need to guide customers in ensuring paperwork covers all the main points. Especially around Dual-Use goods.

Should Shippers and importer be preparing for CDS

The short answer is yes. The need to have government gateway ID’s set up correctly. Postponed VAT accounting is already accessible. You need to be speaking to your freight forwarder and asking for guidance. Freight forwarders and 3PL operators will be happy to talk to you as being set up will ultimately help them when the cut-off date in September happens.

Reading the .GOV getting ready for the Customs Declaration Service is critical and the information is being regularly updated. September is anticipated to be difficult with delays in customs clearance leading to an increase in storage and demurrage across all modes of transport as unprepared traders find shipments stuck whilst they obtain information for customs entries. Make sure you are prepared and the transition to CDS should be simple. Freight Forwarders are working hard now to be ready. Shippers and importers now need to do their bit to be ready.

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