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Moving to CDS from CHIEF


Moving to the Customs Declaration Service from CHIEF: new simplifications and guidance available


Dear Customer,


We are writing to you following confirmation that HMRC will be closing the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system in two stages:


  1. On 30 September 2022: the ability to make import declarations will end
  2. On 31 March 2023: the ability to make export declarations will end


In its place, the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) will serve as the UK's single customs platform, with all businesses needing to declare goods through CDS after 31 March 2023.



We are encouraging businesses to work with their software developer to start making the move to CDS now and take advantage of the help that we can offer. The earlier you adopt CDS, the earlier your business can take advantage of its world- leading technology.


Simplifying declarations on CDS


To help make your move as smooth as possible, HMRC has listened to feedback from declarants and made the following changes streamlining the completion of customs declarations:

  • Waiver document code ‘999L’ has been temporarily added into the UK Tariff for imports and exports movements between Great Britain (GB) and the Rest of the World (RoW).

This means where your controlled and restricted goods are not subject to licensing measures, 999L can be applied to your declaration. For example, commodity 07096010 00 (Sweet peppers) is dual regulated by Defra’s Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate and Plant Health agencies and is reflected as two P&R measure types “HMI Conformity Certificate (fruit and veg) issued in UK” and “Phytosanitary Certificate (import)”. If neither document is applicable for the consignment being imported, document code 999L can be declared once to satisfy both measures.


  • The need to provide additional information where the buyer or seller differ from the importer or exporter has been temporarily removed for GB import


Example declarations now available


To help you adjust to submitting declarations on CDS, you can now access exampledeclarations on GOV.UK.

These will provide you with guidance on how to correctly complete data elements for a range of GB import declarations.

Here to help


If you have any questions, please contact us through your usual channels of communication or via your Account Manager or Customer Compliance Manager, if you have one.


Kind regards, HMRC

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