As most, if not all are aware, the era of CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) is coming to an end and the new era of CDS (Customs Declaration Service) is beginning. After being introduced in 1994, facilitating the collection of £17 billion of revenue each year, collecting statistics and controlling the import/export of restricted goods, CHIEF will be retiring (like many) in a phased approach to hand over its watch to CDS.

What are the key dates?

· We have 30th September 2022 when CHIEF imports functionality will be switched off and CDS should be used.
· And we have 31st March 2023 when Exports and the NES will be turned off. 

Most will be aware of these dates, with a lot of importers in TDR (Trader Dress Rehearsal) and some even live. However, do we know what to expect from CDS and how it differs from CHIEF? Below are some of the differences between them.

There are more to be listed which brings the question to mind, are you ready for the change?

For those who use an agent to submit declarations on your behalf, you may not notice a huge difference, however, those that submit their own declarations will want to get up to date with the changes. 

A key difference we have noticed people may struggle with is that gross weight is now mandatory. You may need to contact your carrier to get this information. 

Another is that HMRC state “There is no 1-2-1 correlation between CHIEF CPCs and CDS Procedure Codes (PCs) / Additional Procedure Codes (APCs). CHIEF CPCs are unique to a goods item whereas CDS PCs / APCs are multiple, interchangeable combinations depending on circumstances”. They have published the new CPC’s and the correlation matrix which allows you to see which additional codes are allowed with the procedure code. 

Depending on your software provider, you may not notice a lot of differences as the changes may have been completed in the background. 

For more information on CDS visit HMRC has published various pages outlining the pages including the guidance to navigating the CDS declaration instructions which outlines the steps to take. 

If you need help and advice visit or call 01942 202202.