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Phased approach to CDS export migration announced

Updated: Feb 5

In a bid to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the customs declaration process for businesses, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has introduced a new phased approach to migrate export declarations to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). This approach, unveiled by HMRC, aims to address the needs and concerns of industry stakeholders while ensuring a smooth transition to the more streamlined and user-friendly - CDS system.


Listening to Industry Feedback

HMRC's decision to implement a phased approach reflects their commitment to engaging with industry partners and responding to valuable feedback. By taking into account the unique requirements of businesses involved in export activities, HMRC seeks to make the transition to CDS as seamless as possible.

Phases of CDS export migration:

1. Phase One - High-Volume Declarants

In the first phase, HMRC and its software developers will work closely with selected high-volume declarants to facilitate their migration to CDS for exports. This phase is scheduled to be completed by Thursday, November 30, 2023. It provides an early transition opportunity for businesses with the necessary IT functionality in place.

2. Phase Two - All Other Businesses

The second stage of the migration plan will encompass all other businesses engaged in exports. By Saturday, March 30, 2024, these businesses will have transitioned to CDS, marking a significant milestone in the modernization of customs processes.

CDS Export Migration

Benefits of the New Approach

This phased approach offers several benefits:

1. Enhanced Testing and Analysis

By allowing selected high-volume declarants to transition first, HMRC and its delivery partners can engage in more extensive IT testing and performance analysis. This additional time will contribute to the refinement of the CDS system and its processes.

2. Smooth Migration Support

The phased approach enables HMRC and delivery partners to provide comprehensive support to export declarants throughout the migration process. This support is crucial in ensuring that businesses experience minimal disruptions during the transition.

CDS: A More User-Friendly System

The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) serves as a modern replacement for the older Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) service. CDS offers businesses a more intuitive, user-friendly platform with advanced functionality. Since its introduction in 2018, CDS has already been successfully used for import declarations when moving goods into the UK.

Industry Voices

Industry stakeholders have expressed their support for the revised timelines and HMRC's collaborative approach:

Steve Bartlett, Chairman of the Association of Freight Software Suppliers (AFSS), commended the move away from seasonal peaks and highlighted the improved focus on customer migration.

Robert Windsor, Member Policy & Compliance Director at the British International Freight Association (BIFA), welcomed the final stage of CDS implementation.

Amanda Francis, Chief Executive of the Association of International Courier & Express Services (AICES), praised HMRC's decision and stakeholder engagement.

Looking Ahead

The phased approach to CDS export migration signifies a significant step toward a more efficient and modernised customs declaration process in the UK. Businesses engaged in exports are encouraged to stay informed and prepare for their respective migration timelines. tradePhlo team remains committed to providing guidance, resources, and support to ensure a smooth transition to CDS.

In the midst of these changes, tradePhlo solution is already playing a pivotal role in facilitating the seamless transition from CHIEF to CDS for numerous exporters in the UK. tradePhlo is a CDS Exports ready solution that gives businesses early adopter advantage and continues to serve businesses with their customs needs, contributing to the evolving landscape of international trade and customs operations.