HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said the new service will deliver a “modern system” for importers and exporters trading outside the EU.

The CDS will replace the existing Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system over three phases between August 2018 and early 2019.

The system was introduced to meet the requirement of the Union Customs Code (UCC), as well as to meet “the anticipated future import and export growth of the UK”.

HMRC said the new system will make it easier than ever for businesses to access more of their customs information in one place.

Kevin Franklin, HMRC’s Customs Transformation Programme Director, said: “We have been engaging closely with trade representatives including software developers, Community System Providers, freight forwarders, and traders themselves 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.”

While the CDS was released for use this week, only a select group of traders will be able to trial the system. However, almost all importers will adopt the system from November, with almost all exporters following this.

Under new UCC rules, some additional information will be needed to be collected and included in import and export declarations. HMRC said traders will need to work with their in-house or external software developers to understand the impact certain changes will have on their business.

For help and advice using the new customs tool, please get in touch. One of our specialist export experts will be able to quickly answer any questions you may have.

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Peter Dearing – FCCA

Peter Dearing – FCCA

Partner at Smailes Goldie Group
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