Over 220,000 businesses are being contacted by HMRC and being urged to move to the UK’s new streamlined customs IT platform if they have not already been using it.

If you wish to continue importing goods, businesses must use the Customs Declaration Service to make import declarations, after 30th September 2022.

What is the Customs Declarations Service?

The Customs Declaration Service has been running since 2018 and should now be used for making import declarations when moving goods into the UK. The service is designed to replace the old Customs Handling Import and Export Freight (CHIEF).

It should represent a significant upgrade by providing businesses with a more user-friendly, streamlined system that is intended to offer great functionality.

This marks the first step towards the government’s vision of a Single Trade Window, which will have considerable benefits for businesses through reduced form-filling, better data use across government and a smoother user experience.

Businesses with a customs agent must make sure they are ready to make their import declarations on the Customs Declaration Service by 30th September. Those without a customs agent must set themselves up to make their own declarations using software that works with the system before the deadline.

Lots of businesses use a customs agent to make declarations on their behalf. If businesses want to hire one, they can find a list of customs agents on GOV.UK.

30th September deadline

Larger businesses, such as freight forwarders and hauliers, must start working with their software developer, community service provider or agent to begin the migration process now.

Carol Bristow, HMRC’s Director General for Borders and Trade, said:

‘There is only just over three months to go until CHIEF closes for import declarations and all businesses will need to use the Customs Declaration Service instead. It is incredibly important that businesses move across to the system as soon as possible. There is plenty of support and guidance available to help businesses make the move.’

‘It takes businesses time to move across onto the Customs Declaration Service depending on the size and nature of their business so they must start the process now to ensure that they are fully set up ahead of the 30th September deadline.’

The Customs Declaration Service will become the UK’s single customs platform after 31st March 2023, replacing CHIEF. After 31st March, businesses will have to use the Customs Declaration Service to make export declarations for goods they send out of the UK.

As always, if you would like any further information regarding the above, please feel free to contact our offices by email info@williamsoncroft.co.uk.