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Navigating the Transition: HMRC Mandates CDS for Export Declarations

Deadline Set for 30th March 2024!

In a recent communication from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), significant changes have been announced regarding the process for submitting export declarations. As part of the ongoing efforts to streamline and improve the efficiency of customs processes, HMRC is now urging exporters who primarily utilize the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) to begin transitioning their export declarations to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

Help & Guidance by HMRC

Key Points from HMRC’s Announcement:

  • Mandatory Shift to CDS: Export declarations must now be submitted through the CDS, with the transition away from the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system to be completed by 30th March 2024. This shift is part of HMRC's broader strategy to modernize and consolidate customs processes onto the more robust and versatile CDS platform.

  • Exceptions to the Rule: There are specific scenarios where the transition to CDS might not apply, including potential rerouting to inventory linked airports or maritime locations, use of temporary storage facilities, or designated export places.

  • Support and Resources: HMRC is committed to facilitating a smooth transition for exporters. To this end, they have released new guidance materials (check bottom), including a declarant checklist, instructional videos, and documentation on known error workarounds. These resources are designed to help businesses understand and navigate the CDS effectively.

  • Practicing with Trader Dress Rehearsal (TDR): The TDR service is highlighted as a valuable tool for exporters to practice submitting declarations in a test environment, enhancing the likelihood of successful submissions when moving to live declarations. You can find out more about the TDR service and how to use it here.

  • Subscription and Software Preparation: Exporters are advised to ensure they have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number starting with 'GB', subscribe to the CDS (if they haven't already for imports), and engage with software providers to prepare for submitting export declarations through the CDS. If you do not have a software provider, you can find details of software developers providing the CDS exports software - search for "Phlo Systems" to find us.

What This Means for Exporters:

The transition to the CDS is a significant move that reflects HMRC's dedication to leveraging technology to enhance the UK's customs processes. For businesses, the shift necessitates timely preparation, understanding the new system, and ensuring all operational and compliance measures are in place to adapt to the CDS effectively.

How tradePhlo Can Assist:

At tradePhlo, we understand that navigating these changes can be daunting. Our platform and services are designed to ease the transition, offering comprehensive support for managing customs declarations seamlessly. Here's how we can help:

  • Expert Guidance: Our team of customs and trade experts is well-versed in the nuances of the CDS and is ready to provide you with the advice and support you need to make this transition as smooth as possible.

  • Seamless Integration: tradePhlo's platform is designed for full compatibility with the CDS, ensuring that your export declarations can be managed and submitted efficiently, without the need for manual processes.

  • Training and Resources: We offer training sessions and resources tailored to our clients’ needs, helping your team become proficient in using the CDS through the tradePhlo platform.

  • Customized Solutions: Whether it's leveraging the TDR service or integrating with your existing systems, tradePhlo offers customized solutions to fit your specific business needs and operational workflows.

Looking Ahead to use CDS for Export Declaration:

As the deadline for the transition approaches, we encourage all our clients and readers to take proactive steps towards understanding and implementing the required changes. tradePhlo is committed to supporting your business through this transition, ensuring that you can continue to operate efficiently and compliantly under the new system.

For more information on how tradePhlo can assist with your CDS transition or to schedule a demo of our platform, please contact us. Together, we can navigate these changes, ensuring your business remains at the forefront of compliance and efficiency in international trade.


HMRC guidance materials:

  1. a declarant checklist for the CDS exports – providing a step-by-step guide to the key actions you will need to take.

2. the CDS customs clearance instructions for exports videos – taking you through the key steps required to complete an export declaration

3. the CDS known error workarounds – please check this document for details of ongoing workarounds to help you submit customs clearance requests or customs declarations through the CDS

You can find further guidance and resources on the CDS guidance pages and the supporting CDS communications pack.


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