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Customs Declaration Service Migration Updates

A transition from Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) for the submission of export declarations has been in the pipeline for the past few years. Despite delays in the planned transition, import declarations have already migrated and have been submitted using the new system since 2022. HMRC have advised businesses and traders that the final date for submitting export declarations using the service will be 30th March 2024.  

A recent update, however, serves to clarify this date. Crucially HMRC have acknowledged that not all traders will be able to migrate to the new system by this date and have explained that, as a result, traders will be able to continue using CHIEF for up to three months after the migration date.  

HMRC have also stressed that traders using inventory-linked air and sea ports should not begin using CDS for export declaration until they are contacted by HMRC or their customs software provider.  

Traders using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS), meanwhile, should submit their export declarations through CDS with immediate effect.  

In the meantime, traders should ensure that they are subscribed to the CDS here. Once subscribed, traders completing their own declarations are advised to use the Trader Dress Rehearsal Service with the support of their software provider to ensure they are prepared for the transition.

For further updates on customs processes including the CDS migration, sign up to our weekly briefing here.

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