In what is considered a win for the UK export industry, the government announced an update at the end of August regarding the move from the old export declaration system to the new.
The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) has been in the works to replace the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system for almost ten years, with CDS for imports already becoming mandatory in October of last year.
Previously, CDS for exports was due to become compulsory in January of this year, but this deadline was pushed back to 30th November to allow time for more testing of the system.
On the heels of complaints over a lack of time for the industry and software providers to ensure that the system was ready and robust enough to handle the higher volume of declarations expected, the UK tax authorities announced yet another delay.
The expanded cut-off means that CHIEF will not shut down, and all export declarations will not be forced to move to CDS, until 30th March 2024.
Phased deadlines for exporters moving to CDS
The move to CDS and the closing down of CHIEF will now happen in two phases, rather than the hard switch-off intended to take effect at the end of November 2023.
Businesses who have the IT functionality set up already and are capable of meeting the original deadline are still encouraged to move to CDS by 30th November. Either HMRC or their software developer should contact these businesses by the end of September.
The majority of businesses who do not have the IT functionality to switch in time are now expected to migrate to CDS by 30th March 2024 instead. HMRC has pledged to provide full guidance and support to these businesses to enable a smoother transition.
Preparing for CHIEF to close for good in 2024
Just because the deadline for exporters to move to CDS has been extended again for most businesses doesn’t mean that you should wait until 2024 to get started.
Even if your business isn’t ready to switch by the end of November, you could still make a head start on setting up your IT system ready to swap to the new digital platform before next March.
After all, you don’t want to be at risk of being unable to legally export your goods, leaving your business grinding to a halt because you didn’t get your operations in order in time.
Here at John K. Philips, we stay abreast of the latest developments in customs, imports, and exports, ensuring that our services keep running and continue to benefit the businesses of our clients.
Our bonded warehouse facility allows customers to store imported goods securely without having to pay duties until they enter the UK market – or keep them safe until they are exported out of the UK again without entering circulation, avoiding customs fees.
We also offer integrated logistics solutions to help our customers with the organised storage, distribution, and tracking of their inventory throughout the UK and Europe.
If you run an import/export business in the UK and you’re looking for ways to improve your operations, why not give John K. Philips a call on 01744 751 000 to see what we could do for you?
Or send your enquiries to us by email through our contact form and our team will be in touch.