New UK customs declaration service: CDS to replace CHIEF

Customs Declaration Service (CDS):
Are you ready? 

The UK customs authority, HMRC, is closing its Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system. It is being replaced by the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) as the new UK’s single customs platform. 

What does this mean for UK imports/exports?

All businesses managing UK customs declarations will need to declare goods using the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

Services will be withdrawn in two stages:

  • After 30 September 2022 import declarations close on CHIEF.
  • After 31 March 2023 export declarations close on CHIEF and the National Exports System (NES)

Why is CHIEF closing?

CHIEF is nearly 30 years old, and HMRC needs to ensure its IT systems can easily adapt to new requirements and are fit for the future. Essentially, this is a move from using paper-based rules on CHIEF to data processing rules on CDS.

What will CDS provide that’s different?


  • Is more resilient, reliable, mobile, cost-effective, and adaptable.
  • Is fully compliant with Union Customs Code (UCC) legislation and operates both the UK and EU Trade Tariffs.
  • Has the flexibility to grow in line with the Government’s ambitious trade plans to have the world’s most efficient customs system by 2025.

How to register

You must register your business for CDS through your own Government Gateway Portal as soon as possible. Once registered, you must appoint JPGL as a user and allow us to use your deferment, if applicable. 

It takes less than 5 minutes to register and confirmation from the Government Gateway is currently received within 24 hours.



Important: If you have not registered for CDS prior to 30 September 2022, JPGL is unable to make customs declarations on your behalf which means goods will not be cleared for import and export.

Contact us

If you require further assistance, contact a JPGL customs specialist today. 

Call: +44 1753 790390

Helpful links trader checklist
Preparing to move to CDS