Last reviewed 23 June 2022

We reported earlier this year that VAT-registered businesses importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and the EU had been warned of forthcoming changes to the UK’s customs systems (see Customs Declaration Service set to replace CHIEF).

More than 220,000 businesses are now being contacted by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to urge them to move to the UK’s new streamlined customs IT platform, if they have not already done so.

They have been reminded that 30 September 2022 is the deadline after which they must use the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) to make import declarations or they will no longer be allowed to continue importing goods.

After 31 March 2023, businesses will have to use the Customs Declaration Service to make export declarations for goods they send out of the UK.

Information on how to move to the CDS can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letters-to-businesses-about-importing-and-exporting-goods-between-great-britain-and-the-eu.

The service will replace the old Customs Handling Import and Export Freight (CHIEF), representing, HMRC said, a significant upgrade by providing businesses with a more user-friendly, streamlined system that offers greater functionality.

HMRC’s Director General for Borders and Trade, Carol Bristow, warned: “It takes businesses time to move across onto the Customs Declaration Service depending on the size and nature of their business so they must start the process now to ensure that they are fully set up ahead of the 30 September deadline.”

A CDS toolkit and checklists, which break down the steps traders need to take, is available here.