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Changes to UK customs declarations

Ian Worth, Director, VAT and Customs Duty Services
28/04/2022
People looking at graphs
HMRC announces new platform

HMRC has recently written to businesses regarding upcoming changes to the UK’s customs declarations platform. This is the system used by HMRC to record the details of customs declarations and charges payable at import to the UK. In this alert we cover important information you need to be aware of.

The current platform, CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) is being phased out in two stages, starting this year.

  • On 30 September 2022, new import declarations will no longer be able to be created in CHIEF.
  • On 31 March 2023, export declarations will also be stopped.

CHIEF will be replaced by CDS (Customs Declaration Service), which has been in development for a number of years and will become the sole customs platform for handling customs entries.

Your customs agent should be liaising with their software provider to manage the migration from CHIEF to CDS and ensure they are prepared for the changes.

CDS requires extra data elements for customs declarations in comparison to CHIEF, and you should ensure that you are providing full and clear instructions to your customs agent to avoid the risk of unnecessary delays.

Some of the changes concern:

  • buyer and seller details – if the buyer and importer, or seller and exporter are different entities, this must be clearly advised to inform new requirements on the customs declaration
  • Incoterms® – the agreed terms should be clearly noted on the commercial documents
  • valuation method – it must be made clear how the goods are to be valued for import, and any necessary additions/deductions should be accounted for
  • import controls – you should advise your agent whether your goods are subject to any prohibitions, restrictions or license requirements; ensuring you provide the correct commodity code(s) to be used is also of vital importance.

It is important to note that responsibility for the declaration of complete and accurate information rests with the importer, not with his customs clearance agent.

Your customs clearance agent should already be in contact with you about the way they will need your data for customs declarations, but if you need any support on this, or would like to discuss how we can help in preparing clearance instructions for your agent, please contact Robert Marchant or Ian Worth.

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Rob Marchant and Ian Worth reflect on how Brexit had impacted businesses and their supply chains and what they may expect to happen next.
With an increase in HMRC compliance activity expected and tax laws becoming increasingly complex, we ask is it time to review, refresh and reinforce.
Unsure if you have paid import VAT and if so how it is to be reclaimed?
From 1 April 2022 large businesses will be required to notify HMRC of uncertain tax treatments.

Contact us

Ian Worth
Ian Worth
Director, VAT and Customs Duty services
London
Robert Marchant
Robert Marchant
Partner, VAT and Customs Duty services
London