Enterprises importing goods to UK must be put on new customs system quickly

August 23, 2022 - 14:50
Over 3,500 businesses may be unable to import goods into the UK if they don’t move to the new customs system now.
Vietnamese products displayed on shelves at a program to introduce Vietnamese goods and food in the UK. VNA/VNS Photo

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HÀ NỘI — HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are reminding businesses to use the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) for import declarations from October 1.

The CDS will become the country’s single system for customs declaration, completely replacing the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

Businesses with customs agents should check whether they are ready to use the new system, while those without a customs agent must do their declarations using software that works with the CDS.

Many businesses are already using the new system. However, around 3,500 enterprises are yet to move, HMRC said.

According to the tax agency, it can take several weeks to be fully set up on the CDS system, so those waiting to register risk being unable to import goods into the UK, starting in October.

There is only a little more than one month left until businesses must use the system for imports, so companies need to move now.

“Registering takes time, so businesses should start moving to the Customs Declaration Service to ensure a smooth transition and avoid disruption to their business,” said Julie Etheridge, HMRC’s Director of Programme and Operational Delivery for Borders and Trade.

After completing the CDS registration process, businesses that use a Duty Deferment Account must create a new direct debit to ensure payments are made via the new platform.

“If they fail to do so, their existing account will no longer be usable, and individual immediate payments will need to be made each time an import declaration is made,” HMRC said.

The CDS was first operated in 2018, marking the first step toward the UK’s vision of a Single Trade Window - a centralised data portal for traders and intermediaries to submit data to the Government.

HMRC will close CHIEF for export declarations on March 31 2023, with businesses being required to use the CDS to send goods out of the UK. — VNS