Most importers are familiar with the Customs Handling of Import & Export Freight (CHIEF) as the HMRC platform importers and exporters use to submit customs declarations. CHIEF has been around for over 30 years and HMRC has eventually announced its retirement: for imports on 30 Sept 2022, and exports in March 2023.
The new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) that's replacing it is fundamentally different to CHIEF. Unless you make your own declarations, you won't need additional software for full access to the CDS, but many businesses, including those that use a customs intermediary, such as a freight forwarder or customs broker, to make customs declarations on their behalf will need to prepare for the change.
To avoid unexpected delays, you should start preparing for the changes now.
Make sure you have all your transaction and product information available as your customs broker will need additional data to clear the goods on your behalf.
Make sure you've government gateway login for your business account and have signed up for CDS access. This will be essential for managing your imports and exports records and finances in your new CDS finance dashboard.
If you have a duty deferment account, you'll need to set up a new direct debit mandate as CDS uses a different bank account to CHIEF (via CDS finance dashboard). You can do this now.
You'll also need to set up new authorities for your customs brokers to use your deferment account; again, via the CDS finance dashboard.
If you need support or further advice on preparing for the Customs Declaration System, get in touch.