From CHIEF to CDS: How are Traders Impacted?

The move from CHIEF to CDS is on everyone’s lips now as the shift is fast approaching. The last day to make import declarations on the CHIEF system is 30th September 2022. To continue trading, from 1st October 2022 import declarations must be made on CDS. The last day for making export declarations on CHIEF will be 31st March 2023, when CHIEF will close. Deadline for export has changed, please see Phased approach to CDS export migration announced.

Brokers and freight forwarders empowered to complete customs filling on behalf of the importer/exporter of record and those traders who file their own declarations will see significant changes when using the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS). The main changes they are facing are well described in this article: Key differences between CHIEF and the Customs Declaration Service. Below is a highlight of some of the important changes.

Data Entry CHIEF vs. CDS

68 Paper form multi-use boxes, on a SAD form91 Single-use data elements with different data sets for every type of declaration
Designed for customers who complete paper records, with several boxes that accept data in a free text format and contain multiple pieces of informationEntries are restricted to code format, except for name and address and goods description fields
Submit supporting documents online via the Customs Trader ServiceSubmit supporting documents via the Secure File Upload Service

Procedure codes CHIEF vs. CDS

7-digit fixed Customs Procedure Codes (CPCs) for each goods itemCodes split into 2 parts; a single 4-digit Procedure Code combined with up to 99 different types of 3-digit Additional Procedure Codes (APCs) for a single goods item
CHIEF CPCs and CDS Procedure Codes/Additional Procedure Codes are different/not the sameCDS Procedure Codes/Additional Procedure Codes are always the same for standard and/or supplementary declaration types
There are CPCs for each type of declaration

How are traders impacted?

While the transition is not as major for traders that are using a broker or freight forwarder and are not filing their own declarations, it is important that they are aware of what changes and how it can affect them.

Data collection

What data do you need to provide your customs broker going forward? Will your vendors make changes due to the CHIEF to CDS migration that affects your business?

Check-in with your broker(s)

Are your brokers and freight forwarders on top of the change? We recommend that you check in with your regular vendors to make sure they are prepared for the change. As mentioned above, you should also ask them if the migration will make them change their processes in ways that affect your business operation.

The importance of internal control and self-audits

The importance of trade and customs compliance remains the same no matter what type of system is in use. Self-auditing and work on verifying the accuracy of the information in your customs documents is a good business discipline. In the end it is the traders responsibility to make sure the information that goes on the customs declaration is correct.

A key part in this is obtaining a substantial knowledge of your products and processes, such as knowing:

  • The procedure codes that apply to your activity and process
  • Where are your products manufactured and exported from (Country of origin)

Even better, is the combination of knowledge and an intuitive tool, that can recognise all customs declarations, identifies incorrect entries, and maps those declarations directly against an authority’s revenue report, such as HMRC’s MSS statistics report and the CDS import item report equivalent highlighting any mismatches.

Going forward you can request CDS import item report.

The importance of trade and customs compliance remains the same no matter what type of system is in use

To summarise what traders need to think about:

  • What information do you need to provide going forward?
  • Check-in with your customs broker(s)
  • Don’t forget the importance of internal control and customs compliance
  • Develop a deep knowledge of your products
  • Request CDS import item report
  • Make use of the tools available to make the process easier

What are the benefits of using Emma E-Doc?

We are always committed to supporting our customers through any HMRC change.

Our customers using Emma E-Doc benefit from having a single platform to identify their customs exceptions & audit compliance without having to worry about any transition period, here at Emma Systems we manage our client’s data regardless of any government-enforced changes such CHIEF to CDS, our clients rest assured that their data is processed correctly highlighting any compliance and missing declaration documentation that may be required to support an HMRC investigation and/or  any claim for TAX & Duty refund.

E-book: Would you benefit from a digital customs archive?

In this e-book, we have identified several questions that are useful to raise when reviewing your customs data process and the need for a digital customs archive.