Customs Declaration Service

New Customs Software Launched  - what will it mean for your imports and exports'

August saw the beginning of a phased launch of the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) - CDS will replace the existing Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system, with all declarations taking place on CDS from early 2019.


Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system

CHIEF currently processes declarations to facilitate the international movement of goods between the UK and non-EU countries. It allows importers, exporters and freight forwarders to complete customs information electronically, and automatically checks for entry errors. The system is responsible for processing declarations for goods entering and leaving the UK or EU through ports and airports and calculating the correct amount of duty and taxes.

The decision to replace CHIEF with CDS was made before the EU referendum, however CDS will be scaled to handle any potential increases in the volume of declarations that may result from the UK’s exit from the EU.


CDS is set to redefine the relationship between forwarders and customers

CDS will be phased in between August and early 2019, with CHIEF continuing to run during this time to aid the transition. Importers and exporters will need to provide the additional information to their customs broker in order to start making declarations on CDS. CDS will offer several new and existing services, 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. Also, it will include self-service tools, guides and checklists.

In order to align with the World Customs Organisation Kyoto Convention, additional information will be required for declarations, such as:

  • 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

Also, to align UK customs data with international standards, there will be changes to:

  • location of goods identification (based on UNLOCODE)
  • the warehouse type code list
  • item tax lines, including method of payment codes
  • unit of quantity codes (ISO)
  • the way customs procedures are quoted
  • the number of items on a declaration – CDS will allow a maximum of 999 items on a customs declaration instead of the current 99 items on CHIEF

Spatial Global are already working with their customs software partner to ensure that they are ready for the transition period from CHIEF to CDS. “Ensuring smooth and efficient customs clearance for our customers is our top priority” says Rachel Morley.

Spatial Global will be happy to discuss any concerns or explain the implications of the change to the Customs Declaration Service on your imports and exports. Please call 01332 289205 and ask for Rachel.

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