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  • Writer's pictureAdvantage Worldwide

HMRC CDS: A Guide to the New System

HMRC has started introducing the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), the long-term replacement for the current Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

Imports changed from September 2022, and Exports will change from March 2023. The below steps need to be taken to ensure your goods can be imported or exported without interruption.

Changing to the new HMRC CDS (Customs Declaration Service) - what you need to know and do

Step 1:

Register for a Government Gateway account (if you don’t already have one)

Most businesses will already have a Government Gateway account to access their personal or business tax account. You should use this account to access the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). If you do not have one, you can register for a Government Gateway account here.

Step 2:

Register for the Customs Declaration Service (CDS)

Use this link to register for the Customs Declaration Service. This can take up to 5 working days.

You'll need your Government Gateway user ID and password as well as:

  • Your GB EORI number

  • Your Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number - you can find this here

  • Address of your business held on customs records

  • Your National Insurance number (if you're an individual or sole trader)

  • The date you started your business

Paying VAT and Duty

If Advantage Worldwide UK (or other freight forwarding companies you work with) are paying your VAT and Duty on your behalf and then invoicing this back to you, nothing will change to this method.

If you are accounting for VAT using Postponed VAT accounting, you will need to access your postponed VAT statement via the Customs Declaration Service.

The other options for paying your VAT and Duty are listed below. You can view your balance and payments in the Customs Declaration Service Financial Dashboard and grant and amend standing authorities for your payment accounts.

If you have your own Duty deferment account, the Customs Declaration Service uses a separate HMRC bank account to CHIEF, so you’ll need to set up a new direct debit

You will also need to re-authorise Advantage Worldwide UK (or other freight forwarding companies you work with) to use your deferment account. This is done in the Customs Declaration Service Finance Dashboard.

You can also choose:

  • cash account – these replace the Flexible Accounting System (FAS), and you’ll be set up with one once you’ve registered for the Customs Declaration Service

  • immediate payment by BACS, CHAPS, online or by telephone banking – you can pay by debit, corporate credit card or cheque

  • individual guarantee – you can use these to cover customs duties for one-off or high-value imports

  • general guarantee account – this allows you to provide multiple guarantees from the same account, and continue importing goods into the UK and pay a disputed amount later once agreed.

Useful Downloads

Please click on the links below to download the following AWL forms to assist you with the transition to CDS.

CDS Enrolment Form
Download XLSX • 24KB

How to Authorise someone to use your CDS Deferment
Download PDF • 306KB

Please look out for further updates and guidance notes in the near future.

Get in Touch

As always, we’re here to help and guide you through the process. If you need any assistance or clarification with the above, do feel free to get in touch.

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