BIFA urges traders to prepare for UK’s new customs system

By Damian Brett

Source: BIFA

UK freight forwarders association BIFA is urging traders to make sure they are prepared for the switchover to the new UK’s new customs declaration system in the next couple of months.

The association said it is confident that freight forwarders are ready for the change from the current CHIEF system to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) but said that anecdotal evidence suggests their customers are less prepared.

The new system requires additional data elements that importers/exporters need to provide to their customs intermediaries in order for the latter to correctly complete customs declarations.

Robert Keen, director general of the trade association, said: “With just over two months to go before all import declarations must be submitted on CDS, our members fully appreciate the scale of the change involved in this transition from CHIEF to CDS.

“Traders need to take a new approach to completing declarations and identifying data requirements on CDS, and our members are working closely with the traders they serve to ensure updated customs clearance instructions can be prepared.”

BIFA has created two documents to help traders prepare for the switchover. 

Keen also pointed to the Trader Dress Rehearsal Service that UK customs (HMRC) has prepared to allow firms to get used to the new CDS system, which gives both intermediaries and importers a useful platform for testing the system.

He added: “CDS has been a long-time in the making, and there have been many changes in the implementation timetable, but anyone who assumes that HMRC is thinking of further deferrals or delays needs to think again.”

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