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Government move CDS export deadline

After industry consultation HMRC has extended the deadline for exporters to move across to the UK’s new digital customs platform, Customs Declaration Service (CDS), from April to November. The extension will provide more time for delivering and testing critical functionality, and for traders to register for CDS.

The new deadline for businesses to make export declarations using CDS is now 30th November 2023, representing an extension of eight months on the previous switchover date.

CDS has been in development since before the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016 and was originally intended to launch before Britain left the EU, replacing the ageing Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (Chief), but it has been beset with delays and has been rolling out for importers and exporters since 2018.

Data from the British Chambers of Commerce showed that more than 4,700 businesses had registered for CDS and made import declarations on the new system, but 1,287 had yet to sign up to it and there are fears that the issue may go much deeper, as many of these firms will be brokers for hundreds of others.

HMRC said: “The majority of frequent traders have now migrated to CDS, with 91% of import declarations now being made on the system. “Through our extension process we have provided extra time for those who had a good reason why they couldn’t migrate to CDS. We continue to work with declarants to support them moving across and ensure there is no disruption to trade.”

The deadline for importers to enrol in the CDS was extended by a month in October, but the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has said there was no clarity from HMRC about what will happen after the end of November.

If you have not registered for CDS, or are uncertain how it applies to you, we can guide you through the changes and actions required by importers and exporters. EMAIL Michelle Redman for further information, or to discuss your situation.