Posted by Langdons & filed under Blog, Brexit, Customs, Langdon, News, Software, UCC.

The HM Revenue & Customs sign inscribed into the stone of a building

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has launched its new customs system to modernise declarations for importers and exporters who trade outside of the EU.

The original process of making declarations through the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system is being replaced. The new reporting system is the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). With CHIEF serving a strong purpose over the last 25 years, new technology embraces change for businesses.

CDS will be introduced in three phases. Starting in August 2018, it is expected to be completely phased in by early 2019. In this first release, a certain segment of importers can make a limited range of supplementary declarations and customs procedures on the system. Most other importers will begin phasing in CDS from November 2018. However, they will need to ensure that their software provider is using a CDS-compatible software.

Exporters will follow shortly. CHIEF will run in parallel with CDS during the roll-out while it migrates traders over to the new system.

Langdon Systems are one of the select few companies on the CDS pilot scheme. We are working closely with the HMRC CDS Transformation Team in interpreting their documentation and testing. As a market leading independent software house, our in-house experts effectively integrate new software with your current system.

CDS will meet the requirements of the EU’s Union Customs Code (UCC) and provide a single place for traders to access customs information. At the same time, it will support the UK’s projected import and export growth.


A major milestone
HMRC’s Customs Transformation Programme Director, Kevin Franklin, said the first release of CDS “is a major milestone”.

“Going live on time is a great step to fully introducing the new system and is testament to the hard work of HMRC staff and our partners,” he said.

“We have been engaging closely with trade representatives, including software developers, community system providers, freight forwarders and traders about CDS, and we value the support from these organisations in preparing importers and exporters for the upcoming changes.

“Our priority now is to make sure software developers, agents and their clients are ready, and we will continue to work closely with them throughout the transition.”

When fully rolled out, CDS will offer several new and existing services all in one place. Due to the requirements of the UCC, some additional information will need to be collected and included in import and export declarations.

Software providers, such as ourselves, are working closely with importers, exporters and agents to make decisions regarding their approach to the roll-out of IT and customer migration in-house. They are also observing what changes need to be made to their systems and how this will impact their businesses.

Traders are advised to familiarise themselves with the official guide on how CDS will be introduced. This is handy to refer to for those who also use the UK Trade Tariff to make customs declarations for imports.


If you have any questions about how your company can prepare for Brexit from a customs perspective, or if you want to discuss any other customs related issues, Langdon Systems’ experts are here to help. Please email us on or call us on 01942 202202.