Your guide to migrating to the Customs Declaration System

The UK is currently migrating from the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). Import declarations will cease processing on CHIEF on the 30th September 2022, followed by exports on 31st March 2023.

But, did you know that it is not as simple as a change in HMRC‘s processing systems?

Along with faster processing capabilities for customs clearance in the UK, the Customs Declaration Service also provides you with better tools for data reporting and greater control over your direct representation and deferment account authority.

However, to unlock your new dashboard and tools, you need to register with CDS and let your customs broker know your new Customs Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG) number. Your broker may not be able to clear your goods with out this.

This doesn’t only apply if you are the trader – named as the consignee or consignor on the customs declaration.

Who needs to register for the Customs Declaration Service?

You need to be registered for the Customs Declaration Service if you are an importer, exporter, deferment account holder, or anyone else who uses an EORI number on a declaration to customs.

Once you are registered on CDS, you will have access to your new customs dashboard – which will allow you to manage your direct representations, view your deferment and postponed Vat accounting statements, and pull reports from the declaration data against your company.

If you have a deferment account, you will need to send your customs agent your Customs Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG) number so that they can use it. It will no longer be enough for an agent to know your EORI and deferment numbers.

What do I need to do?

Here is a handy checklist for your migration to the Customs Declaration Service:

1) Access your Government Gateway account here – or register if you don’t have one, although most businesses do.

2) Register for an Economic Operator Registration and Identity (EORI) number, if you do not have one.

3) Register for access to the Customs Declaration Service – this can take up to 5 working days.

4) Choose the payment methods associated with your EORI number:

Deferment Account – A predetermined credit limit for duty that needs to be applied for and signed off with HMRC. Please note that CDS deferments will use a different bank account to CHIEF, so you will need to set up a new direct debit.

Postponed VAT Accounting – If you are registered for VAT in the UK, find out how and when you can use postponed VAT accounting. (This allows you to manage your import VAT on your VAT return.)

Cash Account – This replaces the current Flexible Accounting System (FAS) accounts, but will work in the same way. Note you need to change the destination account for payments once you migrate to the Customs Declaration Service.

Immediate Payment – Replacing the previous Insert Entry Payment Notification (IEPN) part of the FAS account, this allows you to pay direct for a specific declaration.

Individual Guarantee – Used to cover duty on one-off or high-value imports.

General Guarantee Account – This allows you to provide multiple guarantees from the same account and continue to import goods into the UK. The disputed amount will be payable later once agreed.

5) Instruct your customs broker or agent:

– Set them up as an authorised representative on your finance dashboard.

– Provide them with your Customs Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG) number so that they can put this on your declarations.

Need help with the Customs Declaration Service?

Universal Customs Clearance are migrating our customers over to the Customs Declaration Service ahead of HMRC’s deadlines. If you’d like to ask us about CDS, contact one of our team today.


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