CHIEF is closing for imports in four months, and whether you make your own declarations or use an intermediary, you must begin planning your move to the Customs Declaration Service now to make sure you can continue trading.
We have already made you aware that CHIEF is closing for import declarations after 30 September 2022 and after 31 March 2023, the ability to make exports declarations will end and the CHIEF service will close.
Depending on the size and nature of your business, it can take time to complete the move to the Customs Declaration Service and the sooner you start, the easier it will be.
Make sure you talk to your software provider about the implications of the move to the Customs Declaration Service and be clear on what you need to do, including training your staff.
The benefits of moving
The Customs Declaration Service is a modern IT platform with the flexibility to grow in line with the government’s plans to have the world’s most efficient customs system by 2025. It is the first step of the UK border transformation and will serve as the UK’s single customs platform.
The Customs Declaration Service is resilient, reliable, cost effective and adaptable to the future needs of business. It operates both the UK and EU Trade Tariffs and supports all types of customs declarations.
The Customs Declaration Service saves you time by:
• allowing you to submit customs documents digitally and safely using the Secure File Upload service
• providing access to all your financial information in a single financial dashboard where you can view account statements, make payments and control standing authority
• giving real time notifications and alerts on all your customs declarations and movements
• allowing you to manage your business finances by opening a duty deferment account, make payments by card or bank transfer enabling your goods to clear without delay
Planning your move
To help you plan your move to the Customs Declaration Service, we have provided a step-by-step checklist for traders and declarants that you can find on GOV.UK. You can also download this guide for your reference.
We’ve also designed a Trader Dress Rehearsal service to help you practise realistic business scenarios using your own account data, test your software and train your staff on how to use the Customs Declaration Service, all without risk. You can use this service before you make the move to the Customs Declaration Service, however we would still encourage you to make the move as soon as possible as it will take some time to move your business across.
We have found that businesses who have used the Trader Dress Rehearsal service have a higher declaration success rate and find it easier to move all their declarations from CHIEF to the Customs Declaration Service.
Help and support
If your business is VAT registered, you may already be using the Customs Declaration Service for VAT purposes. Before you take action, please check with your organisation to find out if you’re already registered and make sure HMRC has the correct contact details for your business. This will make sure you receive our regular customs information emails. You can update your email address online at Manage your email address for the Customs Declaration Service.
We have provided a number of resources and guidance online to help you meet your customs obligations. For more information, you can:
• go to Customs Declaration Service for guidance on importing and exporting
• register and get access at Get access to the Customs Declaration Service
• learn how to set up duties and VAT at Check how to pay duties and VAT on imports
• find out how to set up a Direct Debit once you’ve set up your duty deferment account at Set up a Direct Debit for a duty deferment account on the Customs Declaration Service
• learn how you can practice your declarations on Using the Trader Dress Rehearsal service
If you don’t have a software developer, you can reach out to one here Software developers providing customs declaration software.
Using feedback from the published guidance examples, we have also updated the existing guidance page covering declaration examples to cover special procedures. These examples can be used to help you navigate how to complete declarations on Customs Declaration Service for your own goods. You can find these online at Get help using example declarations for imports to Great Britain from the rest of the world.
Here to help
Please contact HMRC at one of these channels if you have any questions, or speak to your Account Manager or Customer Compliance Manager if you have one.
If you still have a question, or you need help with one of thier IT systems, please call the Customs and International Trade helpline on 0300 322 9434. The helpline is available from 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm at weekends.
You can also call this number and choose option one, to access our 24/7 critical care service. Use this service if you need urgent help, for example, if your goods are stuck at the border.