New Customs System dual running extended

CHIEF & CDS  dual running extended

Breathing space for trade as migration period for the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is extended.

The new UK Customs IT system has been under development for several years. Late in 2019 HMRC said that the all users should prepare to migrate from CHIEF to CDS by September 2020.

All UK import and export Customs declarations and clearances for shipments are processed electronically through CHIEF and soon through CDS. EU Exit will add significant volumes of declarations.

The CHIEF/CDS user base is large and varied including customs brokers, transportation providers, port operators and large individual businesses operating high volume customs processes. The majority of small and medium sized users rely on commercially developed front-end software to interface with CHIEF / CDS. The change to CDS is significant in terms of software development and user training.

The September 2020 deadline targeted by HMRC some months ago was ambitious in the extreme due to trade Brexit preparations in Autumn 2019 and numerous software delays,

Roll out of the early CDS releases for trade test were often delayed on the Customs side which lead to downstream delays of trade software. At the same time the trade sector was mired in uncertainty preparing for Brexit Day 1- No Deal and more recently the Coronavirus impact has been the single focus of government and industry.

The migration deadline has now been softened with old and new systems running in parallel for the remainder of 2020.

Current CDS Status

HMRC make clear that CDS has been operational since August 2018 and the new system is “currently being used by a small group of high-volume businesses submitting certain Supplementary Declarations, with the platform now able to process the full range of declaration types for imports and exports.”

Customs recognise trade is simply not ready to migrate to CDS to their timetable and delays are inevitable. In recognition of the reality old and new systems will continue to operate during 2020.


Dual Running Period Extended beyond 2020

Customs have now announced that the September 2020 deadline to migrate to CDS is no longer applicable.CHIEF will remain in place for an extended period of dual running until all traders are migrated to CDS which is expected to be well beyond September 2020, to at least December 2020 and no doubt some way into 2021.

In a recent trade briefing HMRC said “Through this partnership work and listening to our key delivery partners about the pace of change, we have decided to extend our migration timelines and keep CHIEF open beyond December 2020. This means that we will dual run CHIEF and CDS for longer, until all traders are migrated from CHIEF, and that traders will not need to move from CHIEF to CDS by the end of September 2020.”

Getting ready for  CDS – action steps

HMRC have issued the following list of action steps for users to get ready to migrate to CDS:

  • Visit  the Customs CDS home page to understand how the changes affect your business; what you need to do to prepare for the introduction of CDS, and when
  • Understand the changes to the Import and Export Tariff, as explained on GOV.UK
  • Make sure you register for a Government Gateway account and, once notified by your software developer, register for CDS and authorise your software provider
  • If you use a C88 form (for CIE input) or the Web based Declaration system to submit NES declarations, please visit GOV.UK where you’ll find further information on this
  • Consider any training or information needs your business will provide to staff, for example outlining how ‘Boxes’ in CHIEF are being replaced with ‘Data Elements’ in CDS
  • Consider any finance process impacts, for example changes to Duty Deferment or Flexible Accounting System (FAS) accounts
  • As an Importer/Exporter your Customs Agent may require additional information from your business about your goods. Under UCC requirements, CDS will require Agents to provide extra mandatory data elements which may not be required in CHIEF. Your agent will contact you if this is the case.

CDS Toolkit

Customs have also made available a 15 page  toolkit here as well as a short guide to the new Tariff

Need Help with CDS Migration?

If you need help understanding the steps to take, and the pitfalls to avoid during the move from CHIEF to CDS contact us here at Clearlight Customs. We have in depth practical Customs knowledge and can make sure your move goes smoothly. Call us now.

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