The government has this week announced a new timeline for when businesses need to be completing export declarations using the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

CDS is replacing the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system and exporters had been due to have moved over to using it by 31 October 2023.

However, HMRC has said that is now adopting a “new phased approach” with “selected high-volume declarants” being asked to move to CDS for exports by 30 November 2023, with all other businesses being required to use it by 30 March 2024.

Businesses have been required to complete import declarations on CDS since autumn 2022.

Businesses who have the IT functionality in place are still able to move across to CDS by Thursday 30 November 2023, ahead of the majority who will now migrate at the beginning of 2024.

“Full guidance, resources and support will be available for all declarants to ensure the transition across to CDS is as smooth as possible for every business.”

IOE&IT is delivering webinars, training and consultancy over the next few months to help all businesses get ready for CDS, whether that’s high-volume declarants preparing for 30 November or lower-volume businesses preparing for the end of March next year”.

IOE&IT is hosting a free webinar to update traders about the CHIEF-to-CDS migration for exporters on 26 September. It also offers training and consultancy support for traders preparing for the migration, as well as a technical helpline for its members.

HMRC’s Joint Customs Consultative Committee (JCCC) has also written to industry, following today’s announcement, advising traders that they need to take the following steps to ensure they’re ready for the CDS migration:

Read the latest CDS guidance on to familiarise yourself with the new system – including the CDS Toolkit‘Key differences between CHIEF and CDS’ guidance and our introductory UK exports guide 

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