Moving to the Customs Declaration Service

Updated: 7 days ago



As you may well know, HMRC have recently begun the closure of the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system and are moving over to the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS).


Here, we give a brief summary of the stages you will need to follow to move over.


Closure of the CHIEF system

The CHIEF system will be closing in two stages.


The first stage will occur on 30th September 2022, when you will no longer be able to make import declarations through the system.


The second stage will happen on the 31st March 2023, when the ability to make export declarations will also end.


Following this closure, you will then need to use CDS in order to make export and import declarations.


To begin using the Customs Declaration Service, follow the 5 steps below.


Step One

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to register for a Government Gateway account.

You can do so by clicking here.


Step Two

You will also need your Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number that begins with GB.


If you don’t have an EORI number, you can apply for one here.


Step Three

Once you have your EORI and Government Gateway accounts established, you can register for the Customs Declaration Service here.


You will need:


  • Your GB EORI number

  • Your 10-digit Unique Tax Reference number. (This can be found on any HMRC payment reminders, or in your personal tax account).

  • The address given for your business on your customs records.

  • Your National Insurance number.

  • The date your business started.


Step Four

If you have your own Deferment Account, you’ll need to:

  • Set up a new direct debit instruction for your Deferment Account. As CDS uses a separate HMRC bank account to CHIEF, you’ll need to set up a new direct debit. Important: Do not cancel your old Direct Debit – you will need both running concurrently for a few months.

  • Authorise GCL (from within your Government Gateway CDS financial dashboard) to use your Deferment Account on CDS.

You will need GCL’s EORI No: GB924495013000 for this.

Step Five

Lastly, once you have registered for CDS, please could you update our team to confirm your registration so we can prepare for declaring your shipments through CDS.


For full details, you can read the official Government guidance here.