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Importers need to take action; HMRC’s new declaration system

After 30 years, HMRC is replacing its customs declaration service, CHIEF, in the summer and action is required by importers ahead of its launch.

The customs handling of import and export freight system (CHIEF) has been in use by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for nearly 30 years. It is the channel for submitting customs declarations, processing clearances and selecting goods for checks at ports and airports. It is a critical process in the flow of international trade.

The decision to replace CHIEF was made prior to the EU referendum in 2015 and the new customs declaration service (CDS) was due to launch ahead of the UK leaving the EU but, with fears that it would be unable to handle the massive increase in customs declarations following Brexit, HMRC extended the use of CHIEF.

The government is now confident that CDS can handle the additional 400 million declarations resulting from Brexit and HMRC is moving from paper-based rules on CHIEF, to data processing rules on CDS in two stages:

– 30th September 2022 – Import declarations will no longer be accepted via CHIEF
– 31st March 2023 – Export declarations will no longer be accepted via CHIEF

Even though we will be preparing and submitting customs declarations on behalf of our customers, you need to register on the government gateway so that your business can:

– Get Import VAT statements and certificates to assist you in completing your VAT returns
– Set up a new direct debit mandate, if you’re a deferment account holder (the one for CHIEF will NOT work)

You can request access to CDS through your existing government gateway account, using this LINK

You will need to provide HMRC with the following:
– EORI number
– Unique Tax Reference Number (UTR)
– Registered business address for Customs records
– The date on which you started your business

Once registered you will be able to view your “financial dashboard” and set up a new direct debit mandate for your deferment account.

The application process should only take a few minutes and we recommend that you get access now, so that you obtain the import VAT statements you will require for periodic returns.

If you have not heard of CDS, or how to access the government gateway, we can guide you through the changes and actions required.

Contact, Michelle Redman, operations director now for further information and to discuss your situation. EMAIL