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With less than a month to go until the deadline for CDS exports, up to one-third of exporters still need to make the final switch before functionality is removed from CHIEF on 4th June.

London, UK, Tuesday, 7th May 2024: Agency Sector Management (ASM) is urging any business that submits Customs declarations to HMRC to act now, ahead of the 4th June deadline, if they are not already using the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) for exports.

The legacy system, CHIEF, will be closed to new export Customs declarations on 4th June 2024, and all export declarations thereafter must be submitted via the Customs Declaration Service.

“CDS has been a long time in the making, with many shifts in the implementation timetable, but we have now reached a critical point—this deadline is definitive, and HMRC insists that CHIEF will be decommissioned in July, so any business that does not make this final transition to CDS with some urgency risks being unable to export goods,” said Simon Adams, Program Manager at ASM.

In exceptional circumstances, HMRC will grant permission to use CHIEF for an additional four weeks, but only in cases where an HMRC IT functionality issue is preventing migration. Failure to make the necessary preparations will not be deemed acceptable.

“With under four weeks to go, our figures suggest up to a third of businesses that need to have not yet made the switch from CHIEF to CDS for exports,” said Adams.

“We are urging our customers to practice CDS export declarations in the Trader Test Environment (TDR) in Sequoia, which acts exactly like the real system—users can practice until they get it right, and then convert their efforts to live declarations or use them as templates for future declarations.”

ASM’s Customs clearance platform, Sequoia, includes all CDS functionality, and is supported by comprehensive online guidance and several webinars for customers about CDS—it is now up to businesses to finalise their transition ahead of the deadline and before CHIEF is decommissioned.

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