Are you ready for the new Customs Declaration Service?

HM Revenue & Customs has published a new report on how businesses can begin preparing for the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

The CDS will begin a phased launch in August 2018, so it is important businesses are aware of the changes which could potentially disrupt their services.

From early 2019, the current system, the Customs handling of Important Export Freight (CHIEF) will cease to be no more, so the CDS will be the only method of transporting goods between the UK and overseas.

The CDS is also likely to become the mechanism of transporting goods once Britain leaves the EU, so the importance of getting up to date is paramount.

Under the new system, the CDS will be accessed digitally via the online Government Gateway, and businesses may be required to use customs declaration software. It is recommended to use specialist software anyway, as it will speed up several administrative processes.

The CDS will also offer several new and existing services in one place, for example, traders will be able to view previous import and existing data, check tariffs, apply for new authorisations and simplifications and check their duty deferment statement. The online package will also consist of self-service tools, guides and checklists.

To comply with the World Customs organisation Kyoto Convention, an audit trail of previous documents IDs will be required, as well as additional party types, such as the buyer and seller.

You may also need to supply additional commercial reference or tracking numbers. Other changes include “levelling”, where there is a change between “Header” and “Item” for some data items.

To align UK customs data with international standards, there will also 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

For help and advice complying and using the new customs tool, get in touch. One of our specialist export experts will be able to quickly answer any questions you may have.