The deadline to transition from using CHIEF to CDS for export declarations has been extended to 4 June 2024. Businesses are advised to switch early to avoid potential disruptions.

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All businesses exporting goods from the UK can now submit their export declarations through the customs declaration service (CDS). This includes declarations for all goods through all routes, including inventory-linked maritime locations. 

The previous deadline for businesses to use CDS for all export declarations was 30 March 2024. However, this has been extended to 4 June 2024 as HMRC understands that some businesses need more time to transition to CDS. 

Despite the extension, businesses are encouraged to start using CDS for all customs declarations as soon as possible to avoid encountering any last-minute problems. Traders will not be able to use the customs handling of import and export freight (CHIEF) system to submit customs declarations after 4 June 2024 as the system is being decommissioned. 

How to use CDS 

Traders that have not already done so should: 

  1. subscribe to the CDS. Businesses already using CDS for imports do not need to do this;
  2. contact the software provider used to make export declarations to ensure the software is authorised to submit export declarations through CDS. HMRC has published a list of software providers; and
  3. access the free HMRC Trader Dress Rehearsal service if unsure about submitting export declarations through CDS. 

How to make and manage an export declaration online 

Traders that currently use the National Export System web service to submit export declarations through CHIEF can now use the HMRC service make and manage an export declaration online. The service launched on 4 March 2024. It is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses looking to submit export declarations through the CDS. 


Further information 

For detailed guidance on using CDS for exports, traders should refer to HMRC’s declarant checklist for exports

Traders seeking further information on transitioning to CDS should consider watching the following webinars: 

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