CDS - Customs Declaration Service 

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will begin a phased launch of the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) in August 2018.

The paperwork you receive will be totally different to what you currently see, CDS will replace the existing Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system, with all declarations taking place on CDS from early 2019, the C88's & E2 prints will be no more.

(CHIEF currently processes declarations to facilitate the international movement of goods between the UK and non-EU countries)

Why CDS is replacing CHIEF?

CHIEF is one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated electronic services for managing customs declaration processes, but it’s nearly 25 years old and can’t be easily adapted to new requirements.

The decision to replace CHIEF with CDS was made before the EU referendum, however CDS will be scaled to handle any potential increases in the volume of declarations that may result from the UK’s exit from the EU, initial estimates of nearly 255 million declarations!

CDS Customs Declaration Service

How this will affect importers and exporters?

If you import or export goods outside the EU, your agent will be currently using CHIEF to process your paperwork, calculate & pay taxes due, all done electronically.


When CDS gets introduced we will still be able to do this but there will be some differences, the largest one being the amount of information (data) that we

will require from your business in relation to the declaration, this extra information is of paramount importance for preparing and submitting the correct information to HMRC and other government departments, if your agent is not asking you for this then beware, chances are your legal paperwork is not being completed correctly, the responsibility for this lays solely with you so be warned.


HMRC is currently building and testing CDS and it is due to be phased in between August and early 2019.

**Important note to new & existing customers **

We have no doubt that when the new CDS systems comes into effect it will catch many agents and forwarders out. 

Most will not be ready.

Most will not have staff trained to understand why this information is being requested and where it should be placed in the new system. 

This will slow down your freight and clearance times.

We are primed and ready to handle this switch as far as we can be, we are in a position to take care of our current customer base to ensure they are not effected by this change and any disruption will be small and short lived.

Due to the increased workload it has been decided that We will only be adding a small number of new customers, if you are unsure how your current agent

or forwarder will handle this new system then now is the time to ask questions, if the answers are not swift and forth coming then now is also the time to talk

to us.

Be ready - Act now!