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HMRC announces shift to Customs Declaration Service


Mark Say Managing Editor

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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced that the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) will serve as the UK’s single customs platform from 31 March 2023.

The department plans to close its Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system on that date, from which all businesses will need to declare goods through the CDS.

This follows a painful development process for the new system, which was originally intended to handle all customs declarations from January 2019 in line with the UK’s initial date for leaving the EU. There were delays in its implementation however, and as recently as last November a National Audit Office report said there were still high risks.

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

Ahead of the complete closure of CHIEF, its services will be withdrawn in two stages: import declarations on 30 September 2022: and export declarations on 31 March 2023.

Digitised border

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 switchover 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. HMRC said it will provide a more secure and stable platform that has the capacity and capability to grow, and that the move to one system for all imports and exports will also deliver savings for the taxpayer.

Image from iStock, Magnifier

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