HMRC publishes CHIEF system withdrawal timescale
Now the CHIEF system withdrawal dates for import and export declarations have been confirmed.  You need to act. 

HMRC will be closing its Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system on 31st March 2023. It will be replaced by the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) that will serve as the UK’s single customs platform.  From the end of March 2023 all declarations and all goods will need to be declared through CDS.  If you are involved in either import or export operations then you must begin to plan for this key date. 

The timetable for the closure of the CHIEF system will be in two stages: 

•  30th September 2022: all import declarations on the CHIEF system will end. 
•  31st March 2023: all export declarations on the CHIEF system will end. 

The CHIEF system has been the UK’s import and export declaration platform for almost 30-years. It is now time to update to CDS, which is a more streamlined and secure system that also has the flexibility to develop in line with the UK’s global trading freedom and the government’s ambitious trade plans. 

CDS will clarify processes for traders and also save money for the taxpayer. 

CDS has been under test and review for quite some time and it is currently used for both Northern Ireland declarations and rest-of-word movements.
CDS has been carefully assessed and refined across over one million declarations since it came on line in 2018.

Importantly, CDS operates the full UK Trade Tariff, which the current CHIEF system cannot do. CDS is also designed to upgrade import and export declarations and to enhance long-term efficiency. 

HMRC will be contacting traders with directions of how to move from the CHIEF system to CDS.This move is designed to ensure you have ample opportunity to plan for the changes and it will involve your business having to secure several registrations and reference numbers. 

It is also important that you make plans to arrange appropriate in-house training for your staff and manage any changes in finance processes that may be required. It is vital that all your company contact details are fully up-to-date. 

An optional Trader Dress Rehearsal (TDR) service will also shortly be made available for businesses that would like to feel their way into the new customs declaration service. 

March 2023 may appear to be way into the future, but it is important that businesses making customs declarations should begin to plan for the change from the CHIEF system to CDS sooner rather than later. 

If you are worried about these imminent changes and are concerned about how they will affect your business you will be pleased to know that there will be a Customs Declaration Service eLearning course available in the future. 

Alternatively you could contact Aerona (Air & Sea) Customs Clearing Agents Ltd and we will do all we can to help and advise you on the changes and how best to adopt them for the benefit of your business. 

You can call us on: 0161 652 3443.You can also email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or you can send us an online message using the form that can be found on our Contact page.