Customs Declaration Service

This page brings together information about the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

About CDS

HMRC is replacing the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) with the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), a modern and flexible system that can handle anticipated future import and export growth.

We’re phasing in CDS and we’ve started with a small group of businesses who make certain types of supplementary declarations. More businesses will move from CHIEF to CDS over the coming months, as we develop more functionality.

Your software provider, agent or Community System Provider will tell you:

  • when you’ll move to CDS
  • what you need to do to get ready

If you do not use an agent or software provider to make customs declarations, register for our emails to stay up to date and find out when CDS will be available for you to use.

What’s changing

If you import or export outside of the European Union, there’ll be differences in the information you need to put in your declarations. This is due to changes to the UK Trade Tariff required by the Union Customs Code.

You’ll need to refer to the CDS version of the import Trade Tariff to make declarations. The exports tariff will be available later in the year.

If you use an agent for customs declarations you may need to give them more information because of changes to the tariff.

Businesses will be able to include more items for each declaration, reducing the number of declarations you need to make. You’ll be able to access information about your imports and exports using a Government Gateway user ID and password.




Published 7 March 2014
Last updated 14 December 2018 
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