Skip to content

Preparations begin for switch from CHIEF to CDS

Significant changes are ahead for all involved in customs procedures – and not just because of Brexit.  2018 is the year that HMRC plans to migrate from CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) to a new system known as CDS (Customs Declaration Service).  CHIEF has served HMRC, traders and agents for close to 25 years and is now considered in need of replacing. All current CHIEF functions will be covered by CDS, with additional features added to the mix, including various reports, data tools and guides.  Access will be through the GOV.UK website and requires a Government Gateway account. It is important to note there will also be some additional required information in declarations to CDS, in line with continued development of the Union Customs Code (UCC) as well as other international standards.


CDS is currently at the building and testing stage, and is expected to ‘go live’ from August 2018, being phased in gradually in a transition during which CHIEF will continue to run.  Migrating from CHIEF to CDS is expected to be complete by February 2019, just in time for Brexit! If you are a trader or an agent you can expect to hear from your customs software provider regarding changes as they come.  It is also worth keeping an eye on the HMRC website for any updates. Further reading:  HMRC release regarding CDS    

Read more articles!