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In August, HMRC launched the first release of its new Customs Declaration Service (CDS), which is replacing the 25 year old Customs Handing of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.
CDS is a modern and flexible system that will allow importers and exporters who trade outside of the EU to include more items with each declaration, potentially reducing how many declarations they need to make. For the first time, your Government Gateway account will include a record of all of your businesses’ imports and exports.
CDS is being introduced gradually and the timing of your move over to it will depend on when your business, or your software developer or agent, are ready. Developers should already be working with HMRC to update their software applications and, if they haven’t already, will contact you soon to explain if there’s anything else you need to do.
For most importers and exporters this will include confirming your company’s Government Gateway account details, registering for the CDS service through it and authorise their software application.
If your business trades outside of the EU, you should use this time to familiarise yourself with changes to the tariff which has been updated to meet the requirements of the Union Customs Code. Guidance explaining the new changes to the tariff can be found on GOV.UK
The British Exporters Association is working with HMRC to provide relevant information to businesses but encourages you to visit www.gov.uk/customsdeclarationservice regularly for the latest updates.