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6 Easy Steps for Traders to Register for CDS

All UK importers and exporters now need to register for CDS, independently of whether they submit declarations themselves or not.

HMRC will be closing the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight

(CHIEF) system.

The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) will be the single customs


Services will be withdrawn in two stages:

  • After 30 September 2022 import declarations close on CHIEF.

  • After 31 March 2023 export declarations close on CHIEF and the National Exports System (NES).

In the CHIEF era, only declarants and customs intermediaries needed to register on the HMRC software.

Why CHIEF is Closing?

CHIEF has served the UK well, but is nearly 30 years old. HMRC's IT systems need to be fit for the future.

What are the advantages of CDS?

  • Is more resilient, reliable, mobile, cost effective and adaptable.

  • Is compatible with the EU Customs data model, fully compliant with Union Customs Code (UCC) legislation and operates both the UK and EU Trade Tariffs.

  • Has the flexibility to grow in line with the Government’s ambitious trade plans to have the world’s most efficient customs system by 2025: The UK Single Trade Window

Declarants and any traders they represent should be preparing for their move to CDS now

6 easy Steps for Traders to register/subscribe for CDS

1. Log into your Government Gateway account here and provide:

  • Your EORI number that starts with GB. If you do not have an EORI number, get one here

  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). If you do not know your UTR, find it here

  • The address for your business that HMRC holds on their customs records.

  • National Insurance number (for individuals or sole traders)

  • The date you started your business.

  • Your email address

2. Wait for the email of successful application from HMRC

3. Log into your financial account here

4. Log into your document upload dashboard here

5. Save the CDS financial account and document upload hyperlinks above as browser favorites

6. If you have any issues contact HRMC on 0300 200 3700 from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday (closed on bank holidays).

Methods of Payment

As a trader, once you have access to your financial dashboard, you will be able to select your Methods of Payments: Immediate payment, Cash Account or Duty Deferment Account. You will also be able to set-up direct debit instructions for your Duty Deferment Account.

General Guarantee Accounts

General Guarantee Accounts allow traders to release goods without payment of a deposit, when an ongoing user-guarantee from an approved financial institution has been provided. Soon, General Guarantee Accounts can be used to secure deposits for potential liabilities, such as:

  • temporary admission procedures

  • provisional anti-dumping duty

  • critical quota

  • missing preference documentation

These will need to be supported by a guarantee from a financial institution. Applications must be made through Customs Salford at

For General Guarantee Accounts to remain live, they must have at least one active guarantee on the account, while declarations can be secured up to your guarantee limit. This limit is determined by the guarantee the trader secures from their guarantor. You can use the General Guarantee Account as a combined mode of payment with Duty Deferment.

Individual Guarantees

You’ll be able to use Individual Guarantees on CDS, to secure deposits for potential liabilities, like a single-use guarantee backed by a financial institution. You will be able to use more than one Individual Guarantee against one declaration.

If you require an estimate for your Individual Guarantee, please contact Customs Salford at who will provide further assistance.

To use Individual Guarantees on CDS, you will need to:

  1. Submit a declaration with Method Of Payment code ‘Z’, indicating that you wish to use an Individual Guarantee

  2. Note the payment reference generated following Duty calculation

  3. Send the guarantee to HMRC, including your Movement Reference Number and Payment Reference

HMRC will confirm receipt of the guarantee. If the guarantee value is equal to, or greater than, the value of the security calculated, the declaration is cleared.

Once all settled, you can add authority for a third-party to use your duty deferment, general guarantee or cash accounts.




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