UK Customs

CDS - Is Your Business Ready?
Are you prepared for the upcoming changes in submitting customs declarations due to the Union Customs Code legislation introduced by the EU? Download the eBook to find out more.
New Customs Changes in the UK
Are you prepared for the upcoming changes in submitting customs declarations due to the Union Customs Code legislation introduced by the EU?

Descartes’ software solutions will ensure a smooth transition to the requirements for trading with the EU under Brexit post transition period.

We are ready to guide your company through the changes with our CDS-ready software solutions such as Customs Declarations, Safety & Security Filings, Customs Info, Denied (Sanctioned) Party Screening and the operation & compliance of External Temporary Storage Facilities (ETSF), with Inventory Software. All solutions for the UK are compliant with HMRC requirements for both CHIEF and CDS.

Important Dates:

CHIEF Imports for existing CHIEF badge holders will cease after 30 September 2022 and will be replaced by CDS. All new customs import enquiries and set ups must use CDS.

For export, the replacement of CHIEF by CDS will happen in a phased approach. By 30 March 2024 – traders will not be able to make export declarations on CHIEF.

Watch the video for an overview of the Descartes eCustoms Software


-Prepare for upcoming changes in submitting customs declarations

What do I need to do?

We have already processed nearly one Million CDS declarations covering imports (full, simplified, and supplementary declarations) and exports, especially where we continue to work with customers in Northern Ireland where CDS is already mandatory for GB – NI movements now.

• If you don’t have a badge - Purchase a CDS badge from a CSP and once registered pass the details to

• If you don’t have a badge and you are operating non-inventory imports or exports only – You may register and use the HMRC gateway directly with a Digital Token, if you do not want to purchase a badge.

• If you do have a badge – Descartes will ensure your badges are configured to send to CDS via your CSP. However, you must inform your CSP with 5 days prior notification of your intended go live date and ensure you notify them you are using Descartes software otherwise the badge will not work for CDS

Will we be able to use e-Customs when it changes?

Yes, we were the first software vendor to go LIVE in 2018 with a selection of customer. That number has continued to grow every month.

Do I need to tell the CSP I am using CDS?

You need to inform the Community System Provider (CSP) badge operators e.g., CNS and MCP that your badge needs to be configured for CDS using the Descartes e-customs system. *Please contact them direct. 

I upload my data to e-customs, does that have to be changed?

There will be a difference in your process as there are areas of the data set required for CDS that is different to that of CHIEF, which means differences in the User Interface and in the integration data. Please contact the Descartes service desk for further help and guidance stating “A request for CDS interface specs and Professional Services support ”

e-Customs & Inventory solutions

Customs Declarations for Import and Export
Submit import and export declarations using Normal or Simplified customs procedures; fully compliant with HMRC requirements for both CHIEF and CDS
Transit and Excise Movements
Manage both Transit and EMCS movements using Normal or Simplified Transit procedures now and after the Brexit transition period
Export Controls
Descartes can help your business achieve export, import, and financial compliance now and after 1 January 2021, the date when goods moving between the UK and the EU will be considered exports
Product Classifications
Improve efficiency, increase visibility and achieves high compliance rates, while reducing risk and duty spend now and post-Brexit
Customs & Bonded Warehousing
Descartes Customs Applications have modules to manage Customs Warehouses more effectively in multiple countries

External Temporary Storage Facilities
Mitigate delays through UK ports with an ETSF where Roll-on Roll-off traffic can exit the port quickly and customs declarations can be conducted avoiding unnecessary delays

Goods Vehicle Movement Service
Descartes e-Customs software communicates with the UK GVMS system, allowing users to create a GMR record, allocate Declarations, NCTS, S & S declarations to the vehicle and receive status updates.

Import Control Systems
Descartes e-Customs software can be used to submit Import Control System (ICS) details securely and safely prior to the goods arrival

Inventory Solutions for Temporary Storage
 Beginning 1st January 2022, all Temporary Storage Facilities must be inventory linked

UK Customs Resources

Catch-up with the latest news and resources from Descartes:

News Articles
The latest and up-to-date news on customs changes in the UK
Blog Posts
Commentary on the latest news from our customs experts
Useful Links by Country
UK Government and EU Commission related links
A-Z of Customs, import and export terminology
Success Stories
Read how Descartes customers have made the transition to the requirements for trading with the EU
Descartes Partners
Customs Brokers and Customs Training companies
Demo Videos
Brief overviews showing how easy it can be to submit a declaration, complete and EIDR, NCTS or an ICS
Descartes CustomsInfo
The single source of trade research and data covering 160+ countries

Research Papers
Indepth research of UK companies, investigating the effects of Brexit

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