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HMRC urges businesses to move to new customs IT platform now to continue trading

HMRC is writing to businesses to support them with the changes.

HMRC is urging businesses to move to its new customs IT platform now to continue trading, and is writing to businesses to support them with the changes.

The letters and emails include further information about making the move to the UK’s single customs platform – the Customs Declaration Service – and set out the steps businesses must take now to ensure they can continue trading. They also signpost to online resources to support businesses through the process.

Whether you make your own declarations or use an intermediary, HMRC is urging you to act now to plan and make your move to the Customs Declaration Service. It can take some time to complete the preparation needed and the sooner you start, the easier it will be.

You can find more information about using the Customs Declaration Service.

The Customs Declaration Service supports making import and export declarations when moving goods into and out of the UK. It is a resilient, reliable and adaptable IT platform, which replaces the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF), and is the first step of the UK border transformation.

The CHIEF system is closing for import declarations after 30 September 2022. After 31 March 2023, the ability to make exports declarations will end and the CHIEF service will close.

Benefits of the Customs Declaration Service

The Customs Declaration Service saves businesses time by:

  • allowing you to submit customs documents digitally and safely using the Secure File Upload service
  • providing access to all your financial information in a single financial dashboard where you can view account statements, make payments and control standing authority
  • giving real time notifications and alerts on all your customs declarations and movements
  • allowing you to manage your business finances by opening a duty deferment account, make payments by card or bank transfer enabling your goods to clear without delay

Support to help you make the move

You can find more information about using the Customs Declaration Service.

To help businesses and agents plan their move to the Customs Declaration Service, HMRC has published step-by-step checklists.

You can also use the Trader Dress Rehearsal service to help you prepare. The service enables you to practise realistic business scenarios using your own account data, test your software and train your staff on how to use the Customs Declaration Service, all without risk. You can use this service before you make the move to the Customs Declaration Service, however we would still encourage you to make the move as soon as possible.

HMRC has also updated its guidance to help businesses complete import declarations by adding new examples for goods moved under special procedures. You can use these examples to help you complete declarations on the Customs Declaration Service for your own goods.

If businesses need extra help and guidance to meet their customs obligations, they can:

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