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One month left for importers to move to a single customs platform

Updated: Dec 25, 2023

Only a few weeks remain for businesses importing products to switch over to the UK's new simplified customs system.

Import and Export

From October 1 of this year, import declarations must be submitted through the new Customs Declaration Service, which will replace the Customs Handling Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

All declarants and dealers who will be impacted by the shift are being urged by HMRC in a letter to use the assistance now available and switch to the Customs Declaration Service.

Check to see if your company is prepared to use the Customs Declaration Service if you have customs agents. Without a customs agent, individuals must set themselves up to make their own declarations using system-compatible software.

According to Julie Etheridge, head of the program and operational delivery for borders and trade at HMRC, businesses whose head of program have been holding off on relocating should get started right away. Otherwise, there may be an interruption to their operations.

A customs agent who is prepared to utilize the system and can make declarations on their behalf should be consulted by anyone unsure about switching to the Customs Declaration Service.

Import declarations for bringing products into the UK have been made through the Customs Declaration Service since its inception in 2018. The service will replace the 30-year-old CHIEF system, and giving businesses a more streamlined, user-friendly system that offers better capability represents a considerable boost.

This represents the first step toward the government's goal of a Single Trade Window, which will benefit businesses significantly by reducing the number of forms they must fill out, improving the usage of data throughout the government, and improving the user experience.

Declarants are being contacted by phone and email to let them know what actions they need to take in order to help all businesses and agents get ready for the Customs Declaration Service. Additional details, such as a Customs Declaration Service toolbox and checklists that outline the procedures traders must take, are available on GOV.UK. Traders can use live customer support services on GOV.UK and register for or confirm access to the Customs Declaration Service for additional assistance.

Further Information

Businesses should use Community System Providers systems when making import declarations from ports with linked inventories.

On March 31, 2023, CHIEF will stop accepting export declarations, and companies will have to use the Customs Declaration Service to export products from the UK.

Import and Export


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