Midlands ACITA Meeting

CDS update - HMRC - CDS Overview

The first CDS entry was entered and accepted 7th September 2018.

  • CHIEF currently handles 70 million entries per annum.
  • Over 60 million of these entries are supplementary declarations. 
  • 5 million entries are full or frontier declarations.
  • CHIEF is now 25 years old and is based on 1980s’s technology.

CDS will replace CHIEF. It is based on a much more modern platform and needs to be given the growth in International Trade over recent years.

Benefits to traders are:

  • More items can be included per declaration – from 99 lines to 999 lines
  • Integrated with other UK government systems
  • MSS data will be provided free of charge
  • The system has been built to allow for future trade growth

CDS readiness

This is built around the 5 pillar principle which worked well for the Olympic team. All government departments are now using this principle.

  1. Internal readiness – enabling HMRC staff to use the new system
  2. External readiness – helping traders and declarants to move from CHIEF to CDS
  3. IT Delivery – Delivering the new system
  4. Go Live and Support – Enabling the transition of the new system from delivery to live support
  5. Contingency – Planning options in the event CDS is not available

Migration timeline

The functionality was there and available on the 14th August 2018. First entry was successfully sent 7th Sept 2018.

  • August 2018 - Release 1 is for Supplementary declarations only
  • November 2018 – Release 2 is for remaining import functionality
  • For releases 1 and 2, HMRC will be moving declarants to CDS in two tranches
    • Tranche 0 will be for declarants who account for the lowest volume of declarations
    • Tranche 1 if for declarants who account for the largest volume of declarations   
  • March 2019 – Release 3 is for exports

What should a business do to prepare?

  • Make sure you have an EORI number, or register for a new one
  • Make sure your company has a Government Gateway account and that you have access to it. This is required to register for CDS and to be able to authorise your duty management system software provider
  • Understand the changes to the import and export tariff available via GOV.UK
  • Plan training for your staff. You may need to contact your software provider to establish how they intend to roll out the new system and what those change will be.

HMRC CDS Communications

  • Jan 2018 – Getting ready for CDS news story published on GOV.UK
  • Feb 2018 – CDS Factsheet distributed via 60+ SWDs and Trade associations
  • Feb/Mar 2018 – Mailshot letter sent to 258,000 CHIEF users
  • Apr 2018 – 13,000 unique views of GOV.UK news story
  • July 2018 – Email sent to 168,000 CHIEF users explaining the release schedule – Many people at the ACITA meeting had mentioned they couldn’t remember or had not received this email
  • Aug 2018 – Import tariff published on GOV.UK and email sent to traders notifying them it is now available


CHIEF is being tested to make it capable of managing any increase in declarations as a result of BREXIT.

The Gov is currently paying to have two systems developed as a worst case scenario

Expected increase in volume if a Hard Brexit becomes a reality is from 70million to 255million declarations per annum.

Further enquiries should be sent to declarationservices.customs@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

CDS Tariff Overview – HMRC

Changes being introduced: (click here to download slides)

  • Declarations will require completion using Data Elements rather than box numbers. These are split into 8 data groups.
  • Procedure codes (formally CPC’s) will be split into 2 parts
  • Harmonisation of codes
  • EPU references will now be replaced by MRN’s (MUCR,DUCR)
  • Increased no of lines allowed per declaration is increased from 99 to 999
  • You will be required to select a declarations category e.g. Supp Decs = H1. This will then provide the dataset which needs to be completed
  • There are more data elements than there are current box numbers
  • Using the GOV.UK website you will be able to view duty deferment accounts
  • MSS data will be free

Go to Slide 11 in presentation which shows good examples of Data Elements and current box numbers for more information.

Traders should register for CDS email updates from HMRC by sending their name and address to: communications.cds@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

BREXIT update

HMRC gave an update regarding BREXIT from documents used by Ministers or Senior HMRC leaders at the Public Accounts Committee. HMRC were unable to share copies of these documents with us as they are not for general release.

The update was regarding the Facilitated Customs Arrangement, No Deal Preparedness Communications, March 19 Readiness and the Roll on Roll Off document.

HMRC have been working on making traders aware of their preparation for a no-deal scenario by issuing the following documents:

  • The governments preparations for a no deal scenario
  • Trade Remedies if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Trading with the EU if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Classifying your goods in the UK Trade Tariff if there’s no Brexit Deal
  • Exporting controlled goods if there’s no Brexit deal

It is recommended that all traders familiarise themselves with these documents to establish what effect a no deal BREXIT may have on their businesses.


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