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Less than a month to switch to Customs Declaration Service


Published: 06 Sep 2022 Update History

From 1 October, traders must submit import declarations through the new service as CHIEF is switched off to importers.

HMRC’s Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system will be switched off to importers with effect from 1 October. From this date onwards, traders must use the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) to file import declarations.

Businesses not yet signed up to the CDS should take the following steps as soon as possible:

  1. register for a Government Gateway account
  2. apply for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number
  3. register for the Customs Declaration Service

Businesses already importing should be able to skip the first two of these steps.

It can take up to five working days for HMRC to process the application to register for the CDS. It is important that businesses act now to ensure trade is not interrupted.

To register for the CDS, the business will need their:

  • Government Gateway user ID and password;
  • EORI number;
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR);
  • National Insurance number (for individuals or sole traders);
  • business address (that is linked to HMRC’s records); and
  • the date the business was started.

It is worth noting that CHIEF will also be closed to export declarations with effect from 1 April 2023. The CDS will need to also be used for export declarations from this date.

The transition to the CDS is the first step towards the government’s vision of a Single Trade Window, on which it is currently consulting: Government launches consultation on UK Single Trade Window | ICAEW

More detail about registering for the CDS: Move to the Customs Declaration Service to continue importing | ICAEW

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