Customs Declaration Service (CDS) Overview

Dec 1, 2021

Customs Declaration Service (CDS) Overview

The UK government have been making phased changes to the customs process for importers and exporters, with the introduction of the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS). CDS replaces the current CHIEF platform as the means of delivering import and export declarations and is supported by MultiFreight’s MultiShed system. Here, we outline the key the details of the new CDS system and what it means for customers.

Why CDS?

With CHIEF having been around for 25 years, the system is recognised as old, and as such can’t be easily updated and adapted for modern day  requirements. The decision to replace CHIEF was made before the 2016 EU referendum vote, but CDS should enable the UK to be better positioned to scale declaration processing beyond the additional volume that resulted from the UK’s European Union exit.

What’s different between CHIEF and CDS

The CHIEF system has enabled businesses to complete customs declarations electronically, and also to automatically calculate and pay the taxes and duties.

CDS offers the same features, but with expanded functionality. This includes the ability to view historical import and export data in reports, analyse tariffs, apply for authorisations and procedures, and to check deferment statements. Additionally, it offers a range of self-service features, user guides and checklists.

Through CDS, importers and exporters are required to provide additional information for customs declaration.

Timescales for CHIEF to be switched off.

CDS is up and running and CHIEF functionality will be switched off in two phases:

  • Friday 30 September 2022, you will not be able to make import declarations using CHIEF
  • Friday 31 March 2023, you will not be able to make export declarations using CHIEF and the National Export System (NES).

What this means for MultiFreight

The MultiFreight development team have been working diligently for five years now to adapt our MultiShed customs platform to comply with the new requirements of CDS.

While preparing for CDS, it has has remained essential for us to enable customers to continue submitting declarations through CHIEF.  Our team have kept up to date with the requirements and implementation of CDS during this phased roll out to ensure we are able to provide a smooth transition onto the new system.

What it means for customers

Customers need to ensure they understand the changes and new requirements of CDS, we have gathered a host of information on our CDS resources page, which can be found under the ‘Resources’  heading on our website.

CHIEF users will need to upgrade to the CDS version of MultiShed by September 2022. We are staging rollouts during 2022 to move all customers over, so please contact our team.

– Your MultiFreight Team

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