HMRC urge move over to new customs system

August 8, 2022 /

Time is running out to move over to switch to HMRCs new customs system before Septembers deadline - with more than 3500 businesses at risk of severe delays if they do not migrate to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) before it switches off.

Director of programme and operational delivery for borders and trade Julie Etheridge said: “There are now only two months left until businesses must use CDS for imports.

“Businesses need to move now or risk being unable to bring their goods into the UK. Registering takes time, so businesses should start moving to CDS to ensure a smooth transition and avoid disruption to their business.”

Ms Etheridge said “many businesses” were already using CDS, but around 3,500 had yet to switch from CHIEF. She added that these risked being unable to import goods into the UK from 1 October and they either needed to ensure their customs agents were working on this or begin prepping for the switch themselves.

HMRC has faced repeated criticism for the level and quality of support offered, with many feeling that there is a large knowledge gap faced by those moving over, despite it having been in use since 2018. They have produced a guide to explain how to integrate software with their APIs to complete a customs declaration, which shows how the APIs fit into various end-to-end user journeys. It is also intended to help software developers, designers, product owners or business analysts understand how the software needs to interact with HMRC systems, but could be seen as hard to navigate.

Companies are legally responsible for the correct tariff classification of goods. Most of the detail included in current declarations will remain the same, but may need to be input it in a different way. This is to improve the structure and order of how information is grouped and entered as part of a declaration, and also ensures Union Customs Code compliance. In some cases, your customers will have to provide you with more information to help you do this and comply with the new Union Customs Code.

For declarations, ‘Boxes’ in CHIEF are being replaced with ‘Data Elements’ in CDS. While boxes and data elements perform similar functions, they are not ‘like for like’. In CHIEF, up to 68 boxes are completed for imports, with 45 boxes typically completed for exports. In CDS, you may need to complete up to 76 data elements for imports and 65 for exports, depending on the type of declaration and situation.

Using HMRC’s Trade Dress Rehearsal Service allows you to test different real world situations in a simulation of the CDS. The simulator lets you submit real data and create accurate scenarios which involves your supply chain partners. Supreme Freight can assist you with learning how to make sense of these changes and help make the new system as accessible as possible for your business. Get in touch with us using our Contact Form or give us a call on +44 (0) 2380 337778.

This change will come into effect at the end of September.