Customs Declarations Changes in the UK 2024

Are You CDS Ready?

As the UK prepares for significant changes in export customs procedures, exporters face impending deadlines for migrating their export declarations from CHIEF to CDS. This article navigates through the upcoming milestones, outlining essential details for businesses to smoothly transition and be ready for CDS Export Declarations.

Since exiting the EU UK traders have weathered the introduction, delay and ultimate abandoning of some of the rules and regulations for importing goods into the UK. They’ve adopted the new, full controls on exports in the other direction and adapted to new processes laid out by the Northern Ireland Protocol, with further changes planned under the Windsor Framework. To add to the disruption, the way UK Customs declarations should be filed is part way through changing and traders are navigating their way through the transition from the legacy CHIEF customs declaration system to CDS.

After multiple date changes and decision reversals, CHIEF has already been withdrawn in part with all imports now on CDS, with the final deadline due early 2024.

HMRC are expecting that businesses will be able to transition export declarations to CDS according to the following schedule:

  • Starting from early February, export declarations for goods submitted through inventory-linked airports are due to be processed through CDS. However, if there is a possibility of goods being rerouted to an inventory-linked maritime location, exceptions may apply.
  • Beginning in early March, export declarations for goods submitted through inventory-linked maritime locations are scheduled to be processed through CDS. At this stage, all export declarants should be prepared to submit their export declarations through CDS.

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Transition Grace Period and Preparation

HRMC recognise that not all customers may be able to migrate by the specified deadlines. Therefore, HMRC will have a grace period of up to three months from the availability of CDS for exports to complete the transition. HMRC will reach out again with detailed timelines and instructions to confirm when businesses can initiate the migration process.

For those only submitting export declarations, the lessons learned over the last few months make it clear that the latest delay to CHIEF decommissioning is just that – and that, more importantly -  it remains vital to take action today and be CDS ready; even if you do not plan to go live immediately you can both get on the front foot and take advantage of any dual-running possibilities.

Some highlights covered in this eBook:

  • The why, who, what, when of the new systems
  • How you can prepare your customs operations
  • The different processes required for filing declarations in the new systems

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