How to ease your journey from CHIEF to CDS

The UK’s legacy customs system, Customs Handling of Import & Export Freight (CHIEF), is being replaced by Customs Declaration Service (CDS).
CDS will handle all imports and exports arriving/departing the UK by land, air, or sea.

Who’s afraid of CDS?

Hear from the people who’ve been there and done it!

Watch how C4T and Rob Hardy, Founder and CEO of EORI (UK) and an authority in Customs Clearance, share their insights on the upcoming CHIEF to CDS customs changes for the UK.

Why is CHIEF being replaced?

CHIEF is the customs declarations system that has been used by HMRC for decades. Because of its age and complexity, it was not practical to try to adapt CHIEF to comply with EU customs requirements set forth in the Union Custom Code (UCC). CHIEF’s replacement, CDS, is a flexible, modular platform that is built to scale with the growth of international trade. According to the Directors General for Borders and Trade at HMRC, “CDS is a key part of the government’s plans for a world-leading fully digitised border that will help UK businesses to trade and to prosper.”

When will the switch to CDS take effect?

Imports using CDS

As of 31 October 2021, all imports from Rest of World (RoW) to Northern Ireland need to be declared using CDS.

Following the closure of CHIEF imports on 30 September 2022, the requirement to file declarations using CDS will extend to all imports into the UK.

Exports using CDS

On 31 March 2023, the CHIEF legacy export system will be decommissioned and all imports and exports will need to be declared using CDS.

What do you need to do to prepare?

Right now, you need to make sure you have four initial steps ticked off your list:

1. Get an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number

2. Register for a Government Gateway account

3. Register for access to CDS

4. Register for access to the Trader Dress Rehearsal (TDR) to familiarise yourself with the new declaration system and processes ahead of your planned migration date. 

Read the HMRC documentation on ‘making an import declaration on CDS’ outlining the differences in data elements and its groups.

5 steps to prepare for CDS

The checklist to get you ready to transition from CHIEF to CDS

Further changes from CHIEF to CDS

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UK Trade Tariff changes

CDS requires a more extensive data set than CHIEF. While there are consistencies between several of the key CHIEF/CDS Code Lists, there are also some which differ, e.g., Port codes. In addition, a number of new CDS code lists will be introduced.

One key point to note is that CDS uses a new structure for CPCs, allowing for more than one 3-digit Additional Procedure code to be reported in Data Element 1/11. Some of the basic codes may translate across from CHIEF in the same format, e.g. 40 00 000, but others will differ.

Review the Trade Tariff Tool, which has been re-designed for use with CDS, providing access to both the UK Integrated Tariff and the Northern Ireland Tariff.

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Payment processing

The way declaration payments are processed will change in CDS, and you will need to make changes to your current payment methods.

More information can be found in our blog post on CHIEF to CDS: one platform for all UK imports and exports.

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Country codes

As with CHIEF, as of 1 January 2022 the country code ‘EU’ is no longer an option for the country of dispatch/country of origin and the proper country code will need to be used, e.g., FR for France.

icon-special-proc

UK Trade Tariff changes

CDS requires a more extensive data set than CHIEF. While there are consistencies between several of the key CHIEF/CDS Code Lists, there are also some which differ, e.g., Port codes. In addition, a number of new CDS code lists will be introduced.

One key point to note is that CDS uses a new structure for CPCs, allowing for more than one 3-digit Additional Procedure code to be reported in Data Element 1/11. Some of the basic codes may translate across from CHIEF in the same format, e.g. 40 00 000, but others will differ.

Review the Trade Tariff Tool, which has been re-designed for use with CDS, providing access to both the UK Integrated Tariff and the Northern Ireland Tariff.

icon-master-data

Payment processing

The way declaration payments are processed will change in CDS, and you will need to make changes to your current payment methods.

More information can be found in our blog post on CHIEF to CDS: one platform for all UK imports and exports.

element_icon_standard

Country codes

As with CHIEF, as of 1 January 2022 the country code ‘EU’ is no longer an option for the country of dispatch/country of origin and the proper country code will need to be used, e.g., FR for France.

UK Customs Compliance Made Easy

Are you thinking, “I’ve had enough of all these changes. Why can’t this be easy?” We’re glad you asked. That’s where CAS comes in. CAS is our digital customs management solution with legal compliance built in. We stay ahead of the curve so each change that happens is compliant with HMRC requirements and the EU Multi-Annual Strategic Plan (MASP) for the Standardisation of Customs. This way, your goods will continue to ship without delay. And CAS does this at a fraction of the cost of working with a customs broker.

For CAS customers, the switch to CDS will be relatively seamless, as both CAS and CDS align with the UCC data model. Each C4T customer’s data will be checked and, if any minor changes are needed, a migration plan will be outlined.

Realise the strategic potential of customs

Join market leaders who have increased efficiency and reduced costs with CAS.