Traders urged to prepare for end of UK's CHIEF customs system

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

It is not advisable to leave readiness for the Customs Declaration Service until the last minute, businesses have been told.


Traders have been advised to make preparations now in advance of the retirement of the UK's Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

It was finally confirmed in August 2021 that a migration to the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is to be completed by March 31st 2023. The British government said it hopes this will create a more secure and scalable platform for trade going forward.

However, the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) said that although this may seem like some time away yet, it is going to be necessary to start getting ready for the new system now if disruptions are to be avoided.

From September 30th 2022, CHIEF will no longer be used for import declarations, and it will close for export declarations at the end of March the following year.

Trade and customs specialist at the IOE&IT Paul Woodward said: "CHIEF data will not be the same in CDS. Traders need to understand these differences to ensure the correct data is submitted and to ensure customs declarations don't fail."

CHIEF has been in use for almost 30 years and it had been anticipated that it would be retired in time for Brexit in 2020, but British businesses have seen the deadline for this repeatedly pushed back.