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Who needs to know about the Trader Dress Rehearsal (TDR) service?

From 4th June 2024, all goods coming into and leaving the UK will need to be declared using the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).  All UK businesses who trade internationally must be prepared for the big switch over.  

For traders submitting their own declarations and customs intermediaries submitting on behalf of businesses, HMRC have provided a free service to support your switchover to the CDS. 

Businesses that use an intermediary to complete their declarations don’t need to use the Trader Dress Rehearsal service, HOWEVER, to continue trading internationally they must sign up to the Customs Declarations Service (CDS) before 4th June 2024.  Businesses based in the Tees Valley can access FREE support from Tees Global to help them subscribe to CDS by contacting or 01740 618742.  

What is the Trader Dress Rehearsal (TDR) Service? 

The Trader Dress Rehearsal (TDR) service is a simulation of the Customs Declarations Service (CDS).  It allows users to practice submitting a range of import and export declarations and manage a range of business scenarios related to these movements: 

  • submitting pre-lodged import declarations at locations that use the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) 

  • submitting export declarations at inventory linked and non-inventory linked locations 

  • submitting arrived and pre-lodged export declarations at GVMS locations 

  • submitting export declarations for excise goods 

  • calculating import duties in accordance with the UK Trade Tariff 

  • simulating payments processing 

  • simulating quota allocations 

Declarations made using the TDR are not legally binding, so users do not have to worry about making mistakes or the potential consequences of any errors. As a result, users can practice and perfect their CDS declarations to ensure they are confident and compliant once they begin submitting live declarations using the new service. According to HMRC, using the TDR improves success rates when submitting live export declarations in the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).  

How can I access the TDR service? 

To use the Trader Dress Rehearsal, declarants need either to use third party customs software or be signed up to the Make and Manage an Export Declaration Online service. A list of third-party customs software providers can be found on the .GOV website.  Traders using third-party software to submit customs declarations should then contact their software provider to access the Trader Dress Rehearsal (TDR) service. Meanwhile, users of the Make and Manage and Export Declaration Online service, should email to apply for access to the TDR service.  

To learn more about the CDS migration and get prepared, check out HMRC’s recent article in Horizon magazine 

For support subscribing to the CDS and getting prepared for your switchover contact us at or call 01740 618742  


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