Customs export system delayed, says HMRC

HMRC is giving exporters an additional eight months to sign up to the customs declaration service (CDS) as testing continues and rollout is delayed

The deadline has been extended to 30 November 2023 to move across to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), instead of the original March deadline.

From next December, businesses will have to use CDS to make export declarations for goods they send out of the UK, as they already do for import declarations.

One of the reasons for the delay is related to testing the functionality of the system, which still needs to be fine-tuned.

Sarah Hartley, director of border change delivery at HMRC said: ‘We have moved the deadline to enable us to spend more time working with industry in delivering and testing critical functionality as well as the support needed to help declarants move across to the new system.

‘The extra time also allows businesses and stakeholders more time to prepare their customers and software products for the November deadline.’

CDS has been running since 2018 and is already being used for making import declarations when moving goods into the UK.

‘The service will replace the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) service, representing a significant upgrade by providing businesses with a more user-friendly, streamlined system that offers greater functionality,’ HMRC said.

The decision to extend the implementation deadline should mean that the system launches without any inherent technical issues and gives exporters more time to get up to speed with the changes.

Mark Phippen, general manager at Descartes Pentant, a HMRC delivery partner for CDS, said: ‘We believe the new timeline for CDS exports is a sensible and pragmatic decision, allowing HMRC and, in turn, service providers, traders and agents, to develop systems and procedures that work for all from day one.’

Amanda Francis, CEO, Association of International Courier and Express Services said: ‘It is a pragmatic decision which reflects the need to ensure the new system is properly tested and stable. We particularly welcome the decision to allow operational flexibility with the phased migration of exports from CHIEF to CDS.’

HMRC will provide further information about the timeline for CDS exports by the end of January 2023.

Sara White |Editor, Accountancy Daily

Sara White is editor of Accountancy Daily...

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