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Migrating from CHIEF to CDS

Migrating from CHIEF to CDS


The UK customs administration, HMRC, is shutting down the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system. The Customs Declaration Service will be used as the UK's new customs platform. This means that HMRC will go offline with introducing the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). It will take the place of the 25-year-old CHIEF system.


The information that must be included in customs declarations for imports and exports, particularly regarding the parties to the transaction and the value of the products, has undergone major modifications due to the new EU regulations.


Suppose that party appears as the importer, exporter, or declarant. In that case, the software solutions or service providers allow you to save commonly required declaration information in a CRM record.


The new CDS system can be used very quickly and effectively with many software or digital services offered by service providers. In short, things get easier for exporters and importers who receive service from both customs brokers and service providers.


The UK customs administration, HMRC, is shutting down the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system. The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) will take its position as the new UK's unified customs platform.


To manage declarations made in accordance with the Union Customs Code, the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is being introduced. It will take the place of the 25-year-old CHIEF.


The information that must be included in customs declarations for imports and exports, particularly regarding the parties to the transaction and the value of the products, has undergone major modifications due to the new EU regulations.


Suppose that party appears as the importer, exporter, or declarant. In that case, the software solutions or service providers allow you to save commonly required declaration information in a CRM record.



Differences Between CDS and CHIEF


The CHIEF declaration is designed to be completed on paper. It has several sections that accept input in a free text style. Except for the name and address columns, the majority of data components in CDS are limited to a code format.


Most customs declarations are sent to CHIEF electronically; CDS is made to be filled out electronically, and CHIEF is built to accept paper forms.


Instead of using free text, CDS calls for higher accuracy, more data, and more code usage.


Various datasets are needed based on the type of declaration.

There will be more ways to pay customs taxes, such as a new "cash account" where you can deposit money and finish paying taxes.

You can update customs agent clearances online using CDS.



CHIEF What Does This Mean for UK Imports/Exports?


The customs declarations system used by HMRC for many years is called CHIEF. Due to its age and complexity, it was impractical to attempt to modify CHIEF to meet the Union Customs Code's EU customs criteria due to its age and complexity (UCC). The replacement for CHIEF, CDS, is an adaptable, modular platform designed to develop along with expanding global trade.


The Customs Declaration Service must be used to declare items by all businesses handling UK customs declarations (CDS). In order to adhere to the Kyoto Convention of the World Customs Organization, the CDC will demand that dealers supply more information for declarations (part of the UCC).


The UK customs system will comply with international standards with the detailed data entry provided by CDS. The variety of data entry that enables this includes:


  • Goods identification place,

  • Quantity unit codes,

  • Number of items in a statement (99 to 999)

  • Payment method


For more than a quarter of a century, CHIEF has enabled trade between the UK and the rest of the world. However, adaptation to technology, increasing trade volume on a global scale, as well as after the exit from the EU, CHIEF does not meet its expectations. Although still technically sufficient, CDS offers much more effective solutions with the processing time of declarations, matching with customs systems used in other countries, including the EU, and digitization of paperwork processes.


CDS will be able to provide a modern, digital statement service not only for current capacity but for the next quarter century. All new changes needed after exiting the EU and updates to declarations will be possible with CDS. For example, the Union Customs Code (UCC), which has been in effect in the EU since May 2016, is fully compatible with CDS.


Additional transitions from CHIEF to CDS CDS need a more extensive data collection than CHIEF. While some of the critical CHIEF/CDS Code Lists, such as the ones for Documents, Licenses, and AI Statement Codes, are consistent, others, like the Port codes, are not. Several additional CDS code lists will also be introduced.


It's essential to keep in mind that CDS uses a new structure for CPCs, enabling the reporting of several 3-digit Additional Procedure codes in Data Element 1/11. This indicates that while some of the fundamental codes may convert over from CHIEF in the same format, others will be different.


Declarations Used in CDS Import and Export Declarations:

  • Common declarations.

  • Straightforward declarations.

  • Additional declarations.


Most importers are familiar with the Customs Administration of Import and Export Transportation (CHIEF) as the HMRC platform that importers and exporters use to submit their customs declarations. CHIEF has been around for over 30 years, and HMRC is ending in two phases:


  • As of September 30, 2022, you will not be able to file an import declaration using CHIEF.

  • As of March 31, 2023, you will not be able to make an export declaration using CHIEF and the National Export System (NES).


The new Customs Declaration Service (CDS), which has replaced it, is fundamentally different from CHIEF. Unless you're making your declarations, you won't need additional software for full access to CDS. However, many businesses, including those that use a customs broker, such as a freight forwarder or customs broker, can file customs declarations on their behalf, which need to be prepared for change.


How Can You Prepare for CDS?


A number of steps will be required to transition from CHIEF to CDS. You will need to reorganize business processes that are currently integrated with your current accounting and financial accounts for CHIEF.

In export and import transactions that will continue with CDS, it will be beneficial to prepare in advance to determine all the information needed for transactions, such as your customs consultant, to be able to open a customs declaration on your behalf and make tax payments.


Export and import companies have government gateway login for company accounts; make sure this account is linked to CDS.


If exporting and importing companies use the tax deferral account, the bank account information defined in CHIEF should be revised because CDS uses a different bank account than CHIEF.


Once you start using CDS, you will need to create new authorizations for your customs brokers to use your registration account; again through the CDS finance board.


CHIEF to CDS Information Related To Immigration Process


For more than a quarter of a century, CHIEF has enabled trade between the UK and the rest of the world. However, adaptation to technology, increasing trade volume on a global scale, as well as after the exit from the EU, CHIEF does not meet its expectations. Although still technically sufficient, CDS offers much more effective solutions with the processing time of declarations, matching with customs systems used in other countries, including the EU, and digitizing paperwork processes.


CDS will be able to provide a modern, digital statement service not only for current capacity but for the next quarter century. All new changes needed after exiting the EU and updates to declarations will be possible with CDS. For example, the Union Customs Code (UCC), which has been in effect in the EU since May 2016, is fully compatible with CDS.


Providing the information listed below for CDS registration and use will effectively prevent possible disruptions and speed up the CDS registration process.


  • An Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number

  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference number

  • Government Gateway account details; once notified by your software developer, register for CDS and authorize your software provider.


When Will HMRC Closure and CDS Begin?


The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) will take its position as the new UK's unified customs platform. To manage declarations made in accordance with the Union Customs Code, the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is being introduced. The Customs Declaration Service will be used as the UK's new customs platform. HMRC will go offline by introducing the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).


CDS Calendar for Import Transactions


The declaration process for import transactions will end on September 30, 2022. As of October 1, 2022, import customs procedures can only be done via CDS.


CDS Calendar for Export Transactions


The declaration process for import transactions will end on March 31, 2022. As of April 1, 2022, export customs procedures can only be done via CDS.


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