The Customs Declaration Service is a modern IT platform with the flexibility to grow in line with the government’s plans to have the world’s most efficient customs system by 2025.
If your business is VAT registered, you may already be using the Customs Declaration Service for VAT purposes. Before you take action, please check with your organisation to find out if you’re already registered and make sure HMRC has the correct contact details for your business. This will make sure you receive our regular customs information emails.
The CHIEF system will close in two phases:
You’ll then need to declare all goods you import into or export from the UK through the Customs Declaration Service.
If you still use CHIEF to make customs declarations for yourself, or on behalf of a trader, you need to move your declarations to the Customs Declaration Service before CHIEF closes.
Click Here for the Trader Checklist - Moving to the Customs Declarations Service
To prepare to use the Customs Declaration Service, please follow these 8 steps:
Most business will already have a Government Gateway account to access their personal or business tax account. You should use this account to access the Customs Declaration Service.
You can register for a Government Gateway account if you don’t have one already.
You need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number that starts with GB. Most businesses moving goods in and out of the UK already have one.
You can apply for an EORI number if you don’t have one already. It’s free and it only takes 10 minutes to apply. You should receive your EORI number within a week, but it can take longer during busy periods.
You’ll then need to register for the Customs Declaration Service. This can take up to 5 working days.
You’ll need your Government Gateway user ID and password for yourself or your business. You will also need:
This will link your software to your Government Gateway account. Your software provider will tell you how to do this.
If you’re acting on behalf of multiple clients, you may need to authorise the software for each client. Your software developer will be able to help you with this.
You may need to regularly refresh this authorisation with your provider.
If you don’t already have a software provider, you can check our list of software developers providing customs declaration software.
The Customs Declaration Service is built on the Union Customs Code, which is fundamentally different from the Community Customs Code which CHIEF is based on. You can read about the key differences between CHIEF and the Customs Declaration Service.
Please read the Customs Declaration Service guidance to understand how this impacts on you and the declarations you intend to make.
You can choose the payment method which is best for your declaration. You can view your balances and payments in the Customs Declaration Service Financial Dashboard, as well as grant and amend standing authorities for your payment accounts.
The main payment methods you can choose from are:
You can also choose:
The Trader Dress Rehearsal service lets you practice submitting declarations and identify any errors. This may help you to feel more confident when you start to use the Customs Declaration Service.
If you’d like to use the service, you should ask your software provider for access.
You can continue using the Trader Dress Rehearsal service after you start making declarations in live.
When you’re ready to make a declaration in the Customs Declaration Service, contact your software provider. They’ll make the request for access to the live service for you.
You should use the secure file upload service when you submit your supporting documents like licenses or certificates of origin.
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