A guide to preparing for the Customs Declaration Service

If your business buys or sells goods abroad, you need to plan your move to the UK’s new customs IT platform - the Customs Declaration Service so you can continue trading.

You need to do this whether you make your own declarations or use a specialist, like a customs agent or express operator. It takes time to move across so you should start your move today.

The Customs Declaration Service is ready to use for making import and export declarations when moving goods into and out of the UK. The service will replace the old Customs Handling Import and Export Freight (CHIEF), marking the first step of the UK border transformation. It represents a significant upgrade on CHIEF by providing businesses with a more user-friendly, streamlined system that offers greater functionality.

After 30 September, CHIEF will close for import declarations and you’ll need to make these on the Customs Declaration Service. The ability to make export declarations will end and the CHIEF service will close on 31 March 2023.

Before 30 September, you must make sure you have a customs agent ready to make your import declarations on the Customs Declaration Service or set yourself up to make your own declarations. If your business imports and export goods, you can move your export declarations to the Customs Declaration Service at the same time and make all your declarations in one place. Alternatively, you can continue to make export declarations on CHIEF, but you will need to move across before it closes next year.

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