We have collated all you need to know on one page for your reference and guidance.

Contact our team direct email: info@westboundglobal.com, phone: 01375 800800 for tailored advice.

On March 31, 2023, the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system will be shut down by the UK customs authorities HMRC. The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) will take its position as the new UK’s unified customs platform. The Customs Declaration Service must be used to declare products by all companies handling UK customs declarations.

CDS Registration Details – Act Now!

What are the changes being made?

The current customs system (CHIEF) will be replaced with the new Customs Declarations Service (CDS)

As an importer/exporter, you need to act to ensure a smooth transition to the new Customs Declaration System (CDS), enabling Westbound Logistics Services to continue to clear your shipments without delay. The system is currently due to be implemented on 1st October 2022.

Register for a Government Gateway account 

Most business’ will already have a Government Gateway account to access their personal or business tax account. You should use this account to access CDS. If you do not have one, click here to register for a Government Gateway account.

Register for a EORI number 

Most businesses moving goods in and out of the UK already have a EORI number, however if you do not, click here to apply for a EORI number.

Register for the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) 

Click here to register for CDS. This can take up to 5 working days to process. You will need all of the below to register correctly:

  • Government Gateway User ID and password
  • GB EORI number
  • Unique Tax Reference number (UTR) (click here to identify this if you are unsure)
  • Business address as held on customs records
  • National Insurance number (if you are registering as an individual or sole trader)
  • Date of business start

Paying Import Duty & VAT

If Westbound Logistics Services are paying your duty and/or VAT on your behalf and then invoicing this back to you, nothing will change with this process.

If you are accounting using postponed VAT accounting, you will need to access your postponed VAT statement via CDS.

How to set up a Direct Debit instruction on the Customs Declaration Service (one signature)

How to set up a Direct Debit instruction on the Customer Declaration Service (multiple signatures)

How to set up a standing authority on the Customs Declaration Service

Alternatively, if you have your own deferment account, CDS uses a separate HMRC bank account to CHIEF and so you will need to set up a new direct debit. You will also need to re-authorise Westbound Logistics Services to use your deferment account, this is activated through the CDS Finance Dashboard. Please see our Migration from CHIEF to CDS Westbound Logistics Services FAQs guide for more information to help you with these processes.

Migration from CHIEF to CDS – Westbound Logistics Services FAQs guide

Most businesses moving goods in and out of the UK already have a EORI number, however if you do not, click here to apply for a EORI number.

Click here to register for CDS. This can take up to 5 working days to process. You will need all of the below to register correctly:

  • Government Gateway User ID and password
  • GB EORI number
  • Unique Tax Reference number (UTR) (click here to identify this if you are unsure)
  • Business address as held on customs records
  • National Insurance number (if you are registering as an individual or sole trader)
  • Date of business start

HMRC deemed that it was not practical to try to adapt CHIEF to comply with EU customs requirements set forth in the Union Custom Code (UCC) and instead decided to replace the system with CDS, a flexible, modular platform that is built to scale with the growth of international trade.

According to the Directors General for Borders and Trade at HMRC, “CDS is a key part of the government’s plans for a world-leading fully digitised border that will help UK businesses to trade and to prosper.” The UK government also foresees cost savings for taxpayers as a result of the consolidation into a single system for customs declarations.

In order to ensure continuity of service using your deferment account please ensure you have made the following changes:

1. Set up a CDS direct debit instruction which will run alongside your CHIEF direct debit until Westbound Logistics have migrated to CDS.

2. Set the approval for Westbound Logistics Services Ltd to use your deferment account on CDS. Please see the embedded video on our website (How to set up a standing authority on the Customs Declaration Service). for further guidance.

To do this you’ll need to Register for CDS and follow the ‘get access’ instructions

Set up a Direct Debit for a Duty Deferment Account

If your Direct Debit Instruction does not require multiple signatures, you will be able to set up your Direct Debit through your Customs Declaration Service Financials Dashboard, following your registration. If your Direct Debit Instruction requires more than one signature, you will need to complete, print and sign a direct debit mandate form and return it to HMRC. You can send your form to HMRC digitally, using Dropbox, or simply print and post your completed form to them. Both options are detailed on your Customs Declaration Service Financials Dashboard.

Should you, or another partner you work with, continue to use CHIEF for other goods movements, please do not cancel your CHIEF Direct Debit Instruction.

Please the embedded videos on our website for further guidance in relation to setting up Direct Debit instructions for single and multiple signatures

one for CHIEF declarations, and a separate one for CDS declarations. You will not be charged twice for the same liability. Once registered for CDS, all accounting information can be viewed on your customs financial accounts dashboard. You can also check if Westbound Logistics Services have the authority to use your deferment account in your customs financial accounts which you will also find on your financial dashboard and add or delete partners (this is separate to any partners you may have already set up in CHIEF).

If you are an import customer, please ensure that you have made the required changes to your account as soon as possible to maintain continuity of service with Westbound Logistics Services.

If you do not make these changes Westbound Logistics Services will not be able to use your deferment account and will need to charge duties and import VAT by invoice after the declaration has been made. Customers who complete the required changes help to reduce the likelihood of delays to items in customs and ensure items are delivered as soon as possible.

Yes, you will still have to make these changes even if you do not use CDS directly. This is to allow Westbound Logistics Services to continue to use your deferment account on your behalf, you will need to complete a new CDS Direct Debit Instruction for your payments to be successful, as CDS uses a different HMRC bank account to CHIEF.

Westbound Logistics Services can still complete declarations on your behalf by making the payments using the Westbound Logistics Services deferment account. This will mean that Westbound Logistics Services will need to invoice you directly for any declarations that have been made in your name to collect the necessary Tax and Duties. You will still receive a C79 to allow you to account for your import VAT but sometimes you might find that the Westbound Logistics Services invoice has not yet been provided in time to cover the reporting period against your C79 – we will try our best to make sure invoices are released in a timely manner.

It is possible to instruct Westbound Logistics Services to select PVA at the time of import to allow all of the import VAT to be allocated to your PVA account. This is the preferred method as it allows you to access all the necessary documents online in a timely manner. If you opt to use PVA for your import VAT, you will still need to account for customs duties using a deferment account. On this basis, you can select to use:

  • PVA alongside your own deferment account or
  • Westbound Logistics Services will use your PVA alongside the Westbound Logistics Services deferment account

If you would like more information on using PVA on CDS, please check the HMRC website for more information on PVA and how to access it.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-your-postponed-import-vat-statement

All PVA statements are available in the same CDS financial dashboard – helpfully keeping everything in one place

CDS does request a number of additional data elements for the declaration and the declarations are made using a different methodology. You should not need to make any changes in the way that you provide data. We aim to have as minimal disruption as possible and provide updates as we progress through migration for imports and for exports.

For more information please visit HMRCs guidance page, Preparing for the Customs Declarations Service