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Transitioning to the Customs Declaration Service before 30 November 2023


Published: 01 Feb 2023 Update History

HMRC is writing to businesses that complete export declarations to make them aware of key dates for transitioning export declarations to the Customs Declaration Service.

From 1 December 2023, all export declarations must be made through the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). 

Currently, certain export declarations cannot be made through the CDS – they must be made using the outgoing Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system. HMRC will be writing to businesses making these export declarations to inform them when they can start using the CDS. 

The anticipated timetable for the transition is as follows:

  • from May 2023, HMRC will contact the export declarants that submit the highest number of export declarations only through the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) and advise them to start making export declarations through the CDS. Traders should not try to move export declarations to the CDS before September 2023 unless contacted by HMRC.
  • from July 2023, HMRC will contact all export declarants to make sure they are ready to make export declarations through the CDS by setting out the actions they need to take and signposting relevant guidance.
  • from September 2023, CDS will be open for making declarations for all export routes. This includes
    • all remaining declarants that only use non-inventory linked locations;  
    • all remaining declarants that use Customs Supervised Exports (CSE);
    • export declarants that use a mix of routes including the GVMS or inventory-linked locations;
    • export declarants that only use inventory-linked locations;
    • export declarants that use Designated Export Place movements; and
    • export declarants that currently use the NES web service and will need to move to the new export declaration online service.

Businesses should ensure that HMRC has the correct email address so that they are informed at the relevant time.

Next steps

Businesses that have not already done so should carry out the following steps to prepare for making export declarations through the CDS:

  1. Apply for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number beginning with ‘GB’
  2. Subscribe to the CDS
  3. Read the latest CDS guidance on gov.uk

Businesses should contact HMRC if they have any questions regarding this.

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Changelog Anchor
  • Update History
    02 Feb 2023 (01: 00 PM GMT)
    This news item was updated to reflect a change by HMRC to the proposed timetable for transitioning to the CDS.
    05 Jun 2023 (12: 00 AM BST)
    This news item was updated to reflect changes to HMRC’s planned timetable for exporters to transition to the CDS.
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