Air Cargo Management

HMRC announces phased approach to CDS export migration

freight modes

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced a new phased approach for businesses moving export declarations to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

CDS is replacing the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) service and provides businesses with a more user-friendly, streamlined system which offers greater functionality.

CDS has been running since 2018 and is already being used for making import declarations when moving goods into the UK.

The current Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system records the movement of goods by land, air, and sea, and allows importers, exporters, and freight forwarders to complete customs formalities electronically and automatically checks for entry errors.

During the first phase of of implementation, HMRC and its software developers will support selected high-volume declarants to move to CDS for exports by November 30, 2023.

The second stage of this approach will see all other businesses move to CDS for exports by March 30, 2024.

It is said that this new approach will enable HMRC and delivery partners to build on the existing IT testing as well as undertake additional performance analysis while businesses with the existing IT functionality start to migrate. It will also enable HMRC and their delivery partners to better support export declarants to make a smooth migration to CDS.

Sarah Hartley, director of border change delivery at HMRC, said: “Full guidance, resources and support will be available for all declarants to ensure the transition across to CDS is as smooth as possible for every business.”

Steve Parker, director general of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), said: “CDS has been a long-time in the making, and there has been a number of changes in the implementation timetable. This revision to the deadline for businesses to move export declarations via the CDS system is quite short and any business must continue to work towards transitioning from CHIEF to CDS, as a large proportion of BIFA members are already doing.

“Today’s announcement provides clarity to the trade and shows that HMRC has been listening to the ongoing lobbying on the subject that has been done by BIFA, and others.

BIFA members now have clear time frames and should ensure that they have their own implementation plans, as well as test the system wherever possible. The trade association will continue to engage with HMRC on behalf of our members, as well as request that the department provides webinars and training materials to help with the revised implementation timetable.

Robert Windsor, member policy and compliance director of BIFA, said: “On behalf of BIFA members, we are looking forward to the final stage of the implementation of CDS and bringing export transitioning to its successful conclusion.”

Amanda Francis, chief executive of the Association of International Courier and Express Services (AICES), said: “AICES supports HMRC’s pragmatic decision to revise the timetable for CDS exports migration. We also welcome the level of stakeholder engagement and the recognition that express operators need sufficient notice and time to ensure a smooth transition from CHIEF to CDS.”

Steve Bartlett, chairman of Association of Freight Software Suppliers (AFSS), said: “The AFSS and our members fully support the revised timescales for the transition of Export declarations from CHIEF to CDS. This moves away from the seasonal peak and also allows more focus to help customers migrate to NCTS5 in November.

“We thank HMRC for the continued collaboration and consultation with us, to ensure a successful completion of the CDS journey for everyone by the end of March 2024.”

Sign In

Lost your password?