The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is a customs IT platform designed to modernise the process for completing customs declarations for businesses that import or export goods from the UK. A phased launch of the service started in August 2018 and was due to be completed by 31 March 2023. The CDS covers export declarations of goods sent from the UK. This phase has now been delayed until 30 November 2023, an 8-month delay.
HMRC’s Director of Border Change Delivery commented that:
'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.'
When the transfer to the CDS is complete, the old Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) service will close. The first stage of this withdrawal started on 30 September 2022 when the ability to make import declarations on CHIEF closed for the vast majority of users. From 1 December 2023, the ability to make export declarations using CHIEF will also be withdrawn.
HMRC has confirmed that they will provide further information about the exact timeline for CDS exports by the end of January 2023.