Understanding Customs Declaration Services: A Complete Guide

When you are importing or exporting goods across borders, customs declarations are a necessary part of the process. These number of steps are authorized by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and cover everything from calculating the value of goods to classifying them for tax and duty purposes. This is where Customs Declaration Services come in.

What is Customs Declaration Services (CDS)?

Customs Declaration Services (CDS) is an online system designed to process customs declarations for goods entering or leaving the United Kingdom. It replaces the previous system, Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF), which has been in use since the 1990s.

customs declaration service

CDS provides a more streamlined and efficient way for businesses to submit customs declarations. It offers enhanced data capabilities, a user-friendly interface, and faster processing times compared to CHIEF. CDS also helps HMRC enforce trade regulations and ensures compliance with international customs requirements.

How much time do we have to switch to CDS?

While the majority of export declarations are expected to shift to the CDS platform by March 30, 2024, we understand that some of you might need a bit more time. And guess what? We've got your back! You've got until June 4, 2024, to make your move to CDS. But remember, after this date, CHIEF won't be accepting declarations anymore. HMRC

Will it affect my business?

The switch from CHIEF to CDS may require some adjustments for businesses, but it ultimately aims to improve the overall efficiency and accuracy of customs declarations. The enhanced data capabilities in CDS will also provide more detailed information for businesses to make informed decisions about their imports and exports.

Moreover, as more countries around the world adopt similar electronic systems for customs declarations, being familiar with CDS can give UK businesses a competitive advantage in the global market. In order to fail-proof your business in the long run, it is important to stay updated and adapt to new systems and technologies.

How to subscribe to CDS?

To subscribe to CDS, you will need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If your business is not already registered for one, you can do so on the Government Gateway website. Once you have access to the Government Gateway, you can then register for CDS. Read the guidance from gov.uk to find out how to register for CDS.

GR Freight Services already integrated its systems with CDS, well ahead of the deadline. With over a decade of experience in customs declarations and trade compliance, our team is well-equipped to help your business smoothly transition to CDS and maximize its benefits. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your international trade operations. So, it’s important for businesses to start preparing and adapting to CDS as soon as possible.

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