UK moves to a phased approach for export declaration switchover

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UK customs has announced it will now adopt a phased approach to the rollout of its new system for export customs declaration.

The new phased approach means that selected high-volume exporters will move from the existing system, CHIEF, to the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) by November 30.

However, all other businesses have now been given until March 30 to move over to CDS.

Under the previous plan, all businesses were due to move over to the new system by November 30.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said that it had decided to adopt a phased approach following industry feedback.

The switchover for imports took place in October last year.

The move was welcomed by freight forwarder association BIFA, although it felt the decision was quite short notice.

“CDS has been a long time in the making, and there have been many changes in the implementation timetable,” the association said.

“This revision to the deadline for businesses to move export declarations via the CDS system is quite short and any business must continue to work towards transitioning from CHIEF to CDS, as a large proportion of BIFA members are already doing.

“[The] announcement provides clarity to the trade and shows that HMRC has been listening to the ongoing lobbying on the subject that has been done by BIFA, and others.

“BIFA members now have clear time frames and should ensure that they have their own implementation plans, as well as test the system wherever possible.

“The trade association will continue to engage with HMRC on behalf of our members, as well as request that the department provides webinars and training materials to help with the revised implementation timetable.”

Earlier this week, freight forwarder Rhenus urged UK exporters to prepare for the switchover to avoid delays to shipments.

The firm’s customs manager in the UK, Rob Mulligan, said that exporters should “register, authorise and prepare to ensure a successful transfer process”.

Rhenus urges UK exporters to prepare for new customs system


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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]