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Customs Declarations Service (CDS)

Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is replacing the HMRC CHIEF system

What is the change?

HMRC announced in August 2021 they will be closing its Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system on 31 March 2023. From this date, all business will be required to declare goods through the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). This will happen in two stages.

30th September 2022 Import declarations close on CHIEF

31st March 2023 Export declarations close on CHIEF and the National Exports System

Why the change?

The new CDS system will provide a more secure and stable platform, with the capacity and capability to grow in line with the Government’s ambitious trade plans to have the world’s most efficient customs system by 2025

How to Prepare for CDS

Importers must register through the Government Gateway & have the below to do so;-

  • An EORI number.
  • 10 digit Company Unique Tax Reference (UTR).
  • Address of your business as recorded on HMRC records.
  • The date of incorporation of your business.

A trader checklist is available from the GOV.UK website. To download, please use this link:
Trader Checklist – Moving to the Customs Declaration Service (

It takes less than 5 minutes to register and confirmation from Government Gateway is currently received within 24 hours. To access the link please click:
Subscribe to the Customs Declaration Service - GOV.UK (

How it impacts anyone

Importer with a deferment account.
After 1st October 2022: The CDS dashboard will be used to manage payments to HMRC for Duty Deferment Accounts (DDA) and access Deferment/PVA statements and VAT certificates.

Importers will need to register and authorise Kestrel Liner Agencies Ltd EORI GB645264042000 as a declarant to use their Deferment account via the CDS Platform, existing CHIEF standing authorities will not work.

Duty Deferment Account holders will need to set up a new Direct Debit Mandate to facilitate the use of their deferment account on CDS.

If you don’t have a deferment account, you can chose one of the below payment methods.

Use a cash account for Customs Declaration Service declarations - GOV.UK ( - This replaces the Flexible Accounting System (FAS), and you’ll be set up with one once you’ve registered for the Customs Declaration Service.

Pay for imports declared using the Customs Declaration Service - GOV.UK ( - By Bacs, CHAPS, online or by telephone banking – you can pay by debit, corporate credit card or cheque.

Get an individual guarantee to cover customs debts - GOV.UK ( – Importers can use these to cover customs duties for one-off or high value imports.

Apply for a general guarantee account and pay disputed amounts - GOV.UK ( - This allows you to provide multiple guarantees from the same account, and continue importing goods into the UK and pay a disputed amount later once agreed.

If you are accounting for VAT using Postponed VAT accounting, you will need to access your postponed VAT statement via the Customs Declaration Service. You can view your balance and payments in the Customs Declaration Service Financial Dashboard, as well as grant and amend standing authorities for your payment accounts.

Why use us?

We have a specialised dedicated customs team, 24/7 out of hours coverage, customs badges at all major UK ports & 35 years’ experience within the customs industry.

Contact info

Email Alex Morgan or Andy Cordiner on or call our office on +44 1304 215959