Businesses may already be aware of the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) that has been implemented alongside the current Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight system (CHIEF), but as of the 30th September 2022, it will be the only way to properly report data regarding imports and exports.
As the original method has become clunky and outdated, HMRC made the decision to upgrade to a more functional system with plenty more features, so customs agents, freight forwarders and any companies that deal with imports and exports outside of the UK will need to register with the new portal to avoid potential issues.
The benefits of CDS
As the original CHIEF system was well-established and offered users the ability to properly declare their imports and exports, calculate the correct charges for duties and taxes and input the necessary electronic customs information with ease, some businesses are holding off on making the switch. The only downside to this is that it’s no longer going to be in operation very soon, so users won’t be able to perform these tasks via the portal any longer.
The good news is that the new CDS system will still cater to these services, but there is much more on offer for a more streamlined experience. These additional features, which can be accessed via an approved Government Gateway account, are:
- Intuitive software for submitting import and export declarations
- Tariff checking and duty deferment statement capabilities
- Viewable previous import/export data
- Data Element fields for simpler declarations when specific formats are required
- Application submission capabilities for new authorisations
- Accessible self-help information via tools, guides and checklists
- Customs Procedure Codes come in two parts (there will be a four-digit code combined with a three-digit Additional Procedure Code (APC)
- Accessible postponed import VAT statements and import VAT certificates for the completion of VAT returns
As delays in sign-up to the customs declaration service could cost businesses revenue, especially in terms of getting imported products delivered on time, it can be worthwhile to make the switch as soon as possible.
How to register to avoid issues
When signing up for CDS, those registering will need the Government Gateway user ID and password that is associated with the individual, business or organisation in question. From here, it will be necessary to input an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI), Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), the registered business address and the date the business was established. Individuals and sole traders will need to provide their National Insurance number also.
If you don’t already have a Government Gateway account, or are experiencing issues when registering at any stage of the process, reputable customs clearance brokers like those at https://www.otsbroker.com/ will be able to help you complete your application with little fuss.