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Customs Declaration Service open for business
19/03/2024

All businesses can now move their export declarations to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), HMRC has confirmed.

Businesses who have yet to move their export declarations to CDS will have a transition period to move across, until 4 June 2024. After this date, customs declarations cannot be submitted through the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) service.

CDS is replacing CHIEF and provides businesses with a more user-friendly, streamlined system with greater functionality. It has been running since 2018 for import declarations and more than 100 million customs declarations have already been submitted through CDS, including more than 30% of all export declarations.

Paying duties and VAT

To make an import declaration you need to choose how to pay duties, VAT or excise.

The Customs Declaration Service allows you to manage your customs financial accounts and download statements. You can also give authority to others to use your accounts.

Check how to import or export goods

You can check how to import and export goods using the GOV.UK online service at https://www.gov.uk/check-how-to-import-export.

Using this facility you can get information on:

  • the commodity codes (reference numbers) you need to classify goods for import and export declarations
  • paying the right VAT and duties for your goods
  • which licences and certificates you’ll need for your goods
  • how to get goods into a specific country

You will also need to know the approximate date when the goods will arrive at or leave the UK border.