Important changes to customs declarations when moving goods into and out of the UK

It is due to be replaced by the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). This replacement system is intended to be one that is adaptable to meet the future needs of businesses and HMRC, and which they have described as “a resilient, reliable, cost effective system”.

You should now be preparing to change over to CDS 

The CHIEF system will close completely on 31 March 2023, BUT the system is being phased out in two stages. The last day for import declarations on CHIEF will be 30 September 2022 and the last day for export declarations is 31 March 2023. To continue trading overseas, businesses will need to declare on the new CDS system from 1 October 2022 for imports and 1 April 2023 for exports.

If you use a shipper and they make declarations on your behalf then it is likely they have already implemented these changes, but you should check with them.   

Why the change

As well as offering a more adaptable and fully electronic system, unlike CHIEF, CDS is intended to simplify the movement of imports and exports to one system. It also allows users to access all their financial information in a single customs financial account, and offers several methods of payment, including cash account and immediate payment options.

Registering for CDS

If you have not already done so, you will need to register for a government gateway account, and also an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI).  

You must register for CDS and ensure you have all of the different elements to make a submission in place, including methods of payment and commodity codes.

Import VAT

You can continue to use Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) – accounting for import VAT and recover this on your VAT return if you are able to do so.

Client feedback

A number of our clients have had problems migrating to the new system. HMRC have been helpful, but the support service has struggled to resolve all issues. It is therefore important you register and are able to use CDS before the deadline.

HMRC guidance

HMRC have produced presentations and guidance to help businesses. There is also a facility to practice making declarations that businesses may find helpful.

HMRC’s guidance can be accessed here.

Further help

If you require advice or support, please do not hesitate to contact Sean Glancy, head of VAT in our London office or, alternatively, use the ‘Get in touch’ button below and use our Let’s Talk service to be connected to your nearest UHY specialist for further support.

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