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HMRC tells business to prepare for new customs digital platform


Mark Say Managing Editor

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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has told businesses to prepare to use its new digital platform for customs declarations.

It has reminded them that the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) will become the single system for the purpose from the beginning of April 2023, replacing the Customs Handling Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

As a step towards this, the import declaration function of CHIEF will be withdrawn on 30 September this year.

HMRC has published the letters it has sent to businesses, saying that software developers should be working with it to ensure their systems are compatible, and urging companies that do not have compatible systems for quickly search for one that will work with the CDS.

Challenging change

Katherine Green and Sophie Dean, HMRC directors general for borders and trade, said: “We know the introduction of new rules can be challenging and appreciate all the efforts industry has already made to keep goods flowing.

“The Customs Declaration Service provides us with the capacity and capability to grow in line with the Government’s ambitious trade plans and to have the world’s most efficient customs system by 2025.

“We understand a system change can take time which is why we are asking businesses to start the migration process now.

“We’ll do everything we can to support businesses to get this right.”

The CDS has been subject to a slow development process, after it was originally intended to handle all customs declarations from January 2019 in line with the UK’s initial date for leaving the EU. In November 2020 a National Audit Office report said that at the time there were still high risks associated with the development.



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