BREXIT - The New Customs Declaration Service (EU EXIT)

Updated: Sep 18, 2018

HMRC have launched the New Customs Declaration Service (CDS). CDS replaces Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system which, now being 25 years old is somewhat dated.


From early 2019 it is envisaged that all declarations shall be taking place through CDS.

HMRC confirm that the traders will be able to use CDS for all that they used CHEIF for, however, there are differences:

  • "CDS will be accessed on GOV.UK using a Government Gateway account – if traders use a customs declaration software package, they will need to follow the instructions and documentation from their supplier

  • CDS will offer several new and existing services in one place - for example, traders will be able to view previous import and export data on pre-defined reports, check the tariff, apply for new authorisations and simplifications, and check their duty deferment statement

  • online help will include self-service tools, guides and checklists"

Traders will be required to provide extra information in order process declarations in line with the requirements of the World Customs Organisation Kyoto Convention, currently being implemented in the UK through the Union Customs Code (UCC):

  • "an audit trail of previous document IDs

  • additional party types, such as the buyer and seller

  • possible additional commercial references or tracking numbers

  • levelling – change between ‘Header’ and ‘Item’ for some data items"

Issues may arise out of the incorrect use of CHEIF or in the future the CDS when processing and releasing goods in to free circulation which are subject to VAT, Excise & Customs Duty. Issues also arise in relation to movement guarantees required for the release of such goods. HMRC may raise assessments and penalties. Hammad Baig can assist in challenging such assessments or penalties.