HMRC to phase export transition to CDS

HMRC announced last week that after listening to industry leaders they had decided to move away from the planned hard start on the 30th November 2023, in favour of a phased transition to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) from the current Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) platform for UK exports.

Those businesses that have the IT functionality in place will still be able to transition to CDS by Thursday 30th November, ahead of the majority that will now migrate to CDS at the beginning of 2024.

High-volume declarants able to migrate by the end of November will be contacted by HMRC next month to assist in the switch, while remaining exporters will be assisted from the beginning of next year.

CHIEF’s replacement, CDS has been a long time coming and there have been many changes in the implementation timetable. This revision to the deadline is quite short and businesses need to continue working towards transitioning from CHIEF to CDS.

Metro has been ready for some time and is already processing hundreds of export entries via CDS every week.

If HMRC are right to delay and traders are not aware, then speak to Metro, because we can make the transition to CDS a painless one. Do not wait until the big switch off and call us now.

CDS replaced CHIEF as the UK imports platform last September and the initial intention was that it would come online for exports on the 31st January this year, but this was pushed back initially to the 31st March and then to the 30th November to allow for more testing.

The Loadstar reported that the decision to phase in CDS for exports was tied to continual outages and messaging faults after HMRC forced through last year’s September deadline for imports. 

Sources at the time said neither the industry nor the software houses had been afforded adequate time to ensure the CDS system was ready and able to handle the scale of declarations coming its way.

Inventory-Linked Ports (ILPs) are those ports and airports that have customs control systems linked to HMRC systems, allowing for quick electronic clearance of goods on arrival. Our customs team believe that the development of a resilient operating system for those inventory-linked locations, including Felixstowe and Southampton forced HMRC’s hand in announcing a further delay.

There are still some outstanding issues in terms of the duality of operating CHIEF and CDS through non-inventory locations, including RoRo ports such as Dover, Holyhead and the Channel Tunnel, but these appear to have been addressed and are now well into beta testing.

Our customs team can explain how your exports are affected by the CDS/CHIEF changes and what actions are necessary to protect your outbound traffic flows.

Metro clients have been migrated onto the CDS platform and are supported by our customs brokerage team, but you must hold a valid GB EORI and be registered on the Government Gateway to use CDS. 

If you have not registered for CDS, or are uncertain how it applies to you, we can guide you through the changes and actions required. 

EMAIL Andy Fitchett, Brokerage Manager, for further information, or to discuss your situation.