London, UK,  20.6.19  -- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is migrating away from the legacy Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system to its new Customs Declaration Service (CDS). Amongst the first organisations to adopt the new system is Meyer Group Ltd, the UK’s largest quality kitchenware supplier, who has successfully made the transition with support and guidance from Descartes Systems UK Ltd.

Founded in the early 1980s, Meyer UK has built its reputation on supplying top quality, innovative cookware to major department stores and chain stores, as well as a multitude of independent shops and cookery schools. Meyer manufacturers over 40 million pieces of cookware annually from its factories in China, Thailand and Italy, the warehousing and distribution of which is managed from its headquarters in the North West of England. The 150,000 square foot high bay warehousing and distribution facility, with the potential to house 24,500 pallets stored up to 15 metres high, also supplies export markets via a network of distributors, which involves shipping goods to Europe, the Middle East and parts of Africa.

With such a large volume of import and export customs entries to manage on a daily basis, including a range of more complicated entries such as nylon kitchen tools, which require extra documentation and test reports, Descartes recognised the benefits Meyer would gain from being involved as an early adopter of CDS.

“As a long-standing user of the Descartes eCustoms platform, we were pleased to be able to migrate from CHIEF to CDS with the unbridled support from Descartes,” comments Sean Priest, Operations Director, Meyer Group Ltd. “CDS is more complex than CHIEF and requires a lot more information in the background. This is where Descartes has been instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition. From helping to set up our templates to managing the liaison with HMRC, they were able to seamlessly iron out any teething problems that originated from the new system and with no impact on our business continuity. We’ve also been able to request changes and adaptations to CDS through our collaborative partnership with Descartes, which has been a great benefit.”

Pól Sweeney, Vice President of UK Sales and Business Management at Descartes remarked, “There are a whole range of technical and data changes between CHIEF and CDS that businesses have to address, and so we’re pleased that we could ensure Meyer UK had a successful transition through the support of our eCustoms software. It has allowed them to achieve compliance ahead of time and at ease, which in current times is important for UK businesses with an international trade footprint.”

As a long-standing customer of Descartes Impatex software to manage shipments around the world, GBA was already familiar with the knowledge and expertise that Descartes has around the complexities of customs processes. For its automotive service, GBA handles more than two million vehicle movements per year on behalf of its customers through its port and delivery operations, so it cannot afford delays within the logistics chain. As part of its preparations for Brexit, GBA upgraded to Descartes e-Customs solution to effectively manage inbound and outbound customs declarations from one web-based interface, thereby ensuring products continue to move efficiently. With this approach, the customs process is streamlined, enabling simple management of what will be the dramatic increase in the number of declarations once Brexit happens, meaning that not only can compliance be assured, but productivity boosted and business remains uninterrupted.

“While the customs process surrounding Brexit is complex it must not interfere with the product logistics chain. Working on behalf of our Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), we cannot allow shipments of our customers’ motor vehicles to be delayed entering or leaving the country waiting for customs clearance. We implemented the Descartes e-Customs solution in preparation of the significant increase in customs declarations that we anticipate come 1st January 2020 – as much as a five-fold increase. Descartes has played a leading role in our Brexit planning, helping to clear the fog of uncertainty to understand the processes we must follow. We’re confident that with Descartes’ solution we have the right accreditations and software we require to fully facilitate the expectations of our OEMs for import and export of their products with no customs interruptions post-Brexit.” – Timothy O’Mahoney, Shipping Network Manager, G.B. Agencies.

Pol Sweeney,  VP Sales and Business Manager UK for Descartes adds: “The Brexit process has been long and complicated for many, but we’re delighted to be able to support GBA in its preparations to ensure that it suffers no disruption in its service for its customers after Brexit. As the 1st January 2020 fast approaches, businesses must implement the tools they need to be able to continue their operations with the same, or even increased efficiency. Brexit will have vast implications for any company importing or exporting out of the UK and this is where a comprehensive solution to manage all customs declaration types becomes a critical component, and will enable GBA to manage this for its clients with ease – despite the number of declarations increasing overnight.”

About Descartes

Descartes is the global leader in providing on-demand, software-as-a-service solutions focused on improving the productivity, performance and security of logistics-intensive businesses. Customers use our modular, software-as-a-service solutions to route, schedule, track and measure delivery resources; plan, allocate and execute shipments; rate, audit and pay transportation invoices; access global trade data; file customs and security documents for imports and exports; and complete numerous other logistics processes by participating in the world's largest, collaborative multimodal logistics community. Our headquarters are in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and we have offices and partners around the world. Learn more at, and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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