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  • Qing Chen

How to register for CDS?

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

CDS is a replacement for the CHIEF system

How to register for CDS?

CDS is a replacement for the CHIEF system, which has been in use in the United Kingdom since 1992. Currently, CHIEF processes roughly 300 million customs entries every year.

What is CDS?

Since 2018, the CDS has been used to complete customs declarations in Northern Ireland and the Rest of the World. From 31 March 2023, the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) will operate as the UK’s “single customs platform,” as stated earlier this year.

The government claims that the single customs service will save businesses time and money in compliance costs because it is “based on world-leading technology.”

Why do you need access to CDS?

You’ll need access to the Customs Declaration Service, so you can:

  1. make import and export declarations and upload supporting documents

  2. get your postponed import VAT statements or get your import VAT certificates so you can complete your VAT return

  3. make payments

  4. set up or change an intermediary or agent

What all information is required to register for CDS?

  1. You’ll need the Government Gateway user ID and password that you use for:

  2. your business or organisation

  3. yourself, if you’re applying as an individual

  4. your Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number that starts with GB

  5. Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) – find your UTR on the gov.uk website if you do not know it

  6. the address for your business that we hold on our customs records

  7. National Insurance number (if you’re an individual or sole trader)

  8. the date you started your business

Your Government Gateway will be linked to your EORI number and Customs Declaration Service accounts. Using your Government Gateway account, you cannot apply for more than one EORI number. 

How to register to get access to CDS?

Register to access on CDS directly through the dedicated official HMRC website. You should receive confirmation and access to Customs Declaration Software either immediately or within 5 working days after submitting your application, depending on if HMRC needs to follow up on anything. 


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