Clock is ticking on Customs Migration

Earlier this week, BIFA hosted a well attended webinar to emphasise the fast approaching deadline for migrating Customs entries for all exports from HMRC’s Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system to its Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

Speakers from the Association of Freight Software Suppliers (AFFSS), Association of International Courier and Express Services (AICES) , the Institute of Export and International Trade, and HMRC joined BIFA at an industrywide joint webinar to raise awareness and issue an urgent reminder of the importance of transitioning to CDS before the impending deadline of June 4th.

The webinar enabled us to reiterate the message that due to the tight timelines for HMRC to de-commission CHIEF, the timeframe for its closure for export declarations has been much shorter than for imports.

Throughout the migration process, we have emphasised that practice is the key. Implementation of CDS imports showed the benefits of users spending as much time as possible in testing the new system, as well as the need to liaise with their software suppliers to ensure full connectivity with government systems.

With less than a month to go before CHIEF, the legacy system, will be closed to new export Customs declarations, and all export declarations will need to be submitted via CDS, anyone who hasn’t taken the time to trial the new system really is in the last chance saloon.

During the seminar, HMRC explained that while permission to use CHIEF for an additional four weeks in June may be granted in exceptional circumstances, it reiterated its advice that CHIEF will be decommissioned in July and that deadline is definitive.

The government has issued guidance to exporters, advising them to use the Trader Dress Rehearsal and get in touch with their software provider to ensure they can use CDS.

The HMRC customs and international trade helpline can also advise traders on any issues they’re experiencing. There’s also an online form to report ongoing problems.