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Are You Prepared For The New Customs Declaration Service?

15th September 2022 | by Aimee Spilsbury

Are You Prepared For The New Customs Declaration Service?

The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is a new import-export process introduced by the UK Government to replace the Customs Handling of Import & Export Freight (CHIEF) system, which has been running since 1992. With the new system set to be fully operational from March 2023, what does the CDS mean for you as an importer-exporter, and how will Speedy Freight support you?


Customs Declaration Service - Key Dates


On 30 September 2022 the HMRC CHIEF import service will close and you will only be able to use the new CDS system from this date.


As of 31 March 2023, the CHIEF export system will no longer be available and all export declarations will need to be made using CDS.


Why A New Import-Export System?


Following Brexit, the volume of declarations has greatly increased, and a new system was needed to handle the increase.


CDS is an entirely scalable system, which means it’s equipped to manage the higher number of declarations with improved accuracy and efficiency. By 2025, the UK should have a single customs platform.


How To Prepare For The Customs Declaration Service With Speedy Freight


We recommend planning for the changes immediately, using the following steps, as the go live date is 30 September.


Step 1- Register For A Government Gateway Account


You will most likely already have a Government Gateway account to access your tax records. However, if you don’t have a Government Gateway account, you will need to register for your ID.


Step 2- Subscribe To CDS


Subscribing to CDS can take up to five days and you can register, here. You will need your Government Gateway User ID and password as well as:


  • Your GB EORI number

  • Your Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number

  • Address of your business held on Customs records

  • Your National Insurance number (sole traders)

  • The date you started your business


Step 3- Check Your VAT & Duty Payment Setup


If you DO NOT have a customs Deferment account and are paying your VAT and Duty through invoices from your broker then nothing will change.


If you DO HAVE a customs Deferment facility, CDS uses a different bank account to CHIEF, so you must set up a brand new direct debit.


Please ensure you DO NOT cancel your current CHIEF banking set-up and Direct Debit instructions. They are still valid for CHIEF declarations until HMRC closes the service and fully migrates to CDS, which in in 2023.


All Speedy Freight UK import customers with a Deferment Approval Number (DAN) must register for a UK Government Gateway ID, and sign up to CDS and approve Speedy Freight to use their DAN.


This needs to be done as soon as possible so we are ready to migrate to the new CDS system. If you do not do this, Speedy Freight will be unable to use your Deferment number for import entries.


You will also need to re-authorise Speedy Freight to use your Deferment facility, which is done within your new CDS Finance Dashboard. If you need help with the CDS Finance Dashboard, please email [email protected]


If you are accounting for VAT using Postponed VAT Accounting, then you will need to access your postponed VAT statement via CDS.


Step 4- Grant Access To Speedy Freight


You must complete a Power of Authority letter to prove that you are registered with CDS and that you grant approval for Speedy Freight to act on your behalf, and utilise your Deferment account (if relevant) which you will have authorised on the CDS financials dashboard - speak to your local Speedy Freight branch for more information.

You will also need to make sure that you have all your transaction and product information available as we will need all the additional information to clear imported goods on your behalf.


To be able to complete customs declarations on your behalf we require you to action the following where applicable to your business: 


  • Provide your Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number

  • Provide your deferment account number with authority granted

  • Provide your CDS Cash Account number with authority granted

  • Provide your Customs Guarantee Authorisation number

  • Provide any other authorisation numbers you may hold


For the deferment authorisation, Speedy Freight's EORI number for Air and Sea customers is GB897355170000.


How Does Speedy Freight Help With Your Import-Export Requirements?


Most of our same day delivery clients have turned to us for support with their import-export requirements, often because of delays arising from using pallet networks or shared load services.


Unlike pallet networks or shared load services, Speedy Freight is dedicated to transporting your goods only, we don’t carry other consignments on board.


This means your consignments won’t face delays or incomplete paperwork, ensuring that you can navigate UK, European and worldwide import and export processes with ease.


We take care of the whole process for you, whether you’re importing, exporting or both. We work with you and customs agents to complete all the necessary paperwork and provide vehicle solutions for whatever it is you need to move.


No job is too big or too small. We implement customs procedures in line with Government guidelines to ensure full compliance with import-export processes.


Our Import-Export Process


Step 1 - Contact your local Speedy Freight branch via our online request form, email, or phone call. Then review and approve your quote.


Step 2 - We will send you a Power of Authority letter to sign so we can act on your behalf, as well as a checklist to help you complete your commercial documents. Please ensure you have registered with the new Customs Declaration System (CDS) prior to completing the Power of Authority letter. Further information on this is available on our website.


Step 3 - Complete and return your Power of Authority letter with your commercial documents to your local Speedy branch.


Step 4 - We will review your information and ensure that nothing is missing.


Step 5 - When all the steps are complete, your customs documentation will be filed and sent back to you. We will speak to EU customs agents on your behalf.


Step 6 - Your completed and filed customs entries will be ready for your driver to collect with their confirmed dispatch.


Useful CDS Resources


Want to know more about CDS? Check out these handy resources:





Choose Speedy Freight For Your Imports and Exports


Our branches throughout the UK are on hand to support getting your cargo moved to Ireland, Europe, and the rest of the world. To discuss your import-export needs, reach out to your nearest Speedy Freight branch, now.

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