CHIEF service to close from March 2023, Government reveals

The Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system will be replaced by a single unified customs service from March 2023, it has been announced.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said its replacement, known as the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), will save businesses time and money.

According to the report, the CHIEF system will be withdrawn in two stages:

  • From 30 September 2022, importers must use the CDS, rather than the CHIEF system, to complete import declarations.
  • From 31 March 2023, exporters must use the CDS, rather than the CHIEF or National Exports System (NES), to complete export declarations.

After 31 March 2023, businesses will no longer be able to use the CHIEF service to make any kind of declaration.

Commenting on the changes, Sophie Dean and Katherine Green, Directors General for Borders and Trade at HMRC, said a single customs service will provide a “more secure and stable” environment for businesses to operate in.

“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,” she said.

“This announcement will provide clarity for traders and the border industry. We are committed to making the switch-over as smooth as possible and are working to ensure traders are fully supported with the new processes.”

Launched in 2018, the CDS is already in use for Northern Ireland and Rest of World declarations and has processed more than one million declarations to date.

To learn more about the CDS, please click here.

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