Your closest branch is:

Dedicated business delivery from £35. FIND OUT MORE

Speedy News

UK Customs Declaration Service Myths Debunked

2nd November 2022 | by Aimee Spilsbury

UK Customs Declaration Service Myths Debunked

If you’re a business that imports, exports, or both, by now you will have probably heard about the new UK Customs Declaration Service (CDS) that’s set to replace the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system. As with anything that’s new in the logistics space, there’s a lot of common misunderstandings that occur, and the same is true for CDS.


You may have heard or read things about the CDS and been left with more questions than answers. So, let’s tackle some of the things that we know have been circulating that aren’t quite accurate:


1. I don’t have a Government Gateway account, so I can’t use CDS


Right now, this is still the case after the Government announced that the deadline for businesses to switch to the new UK Customs Declaration Service (CDS) has been extended until the end of October.


However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be preparing to migrate to the CDS. After the extension deadline passes, switching to the CDS won’t be optional.


Failing to transfer to the new system could result in your imports being held at customs.


2. I don’t have a Government Gateway account, so I can’t use CDS


Setting up a Government Gateway account is simple. All you need to do is follow the steps on


Reinforcing the point made above, use of the UK Customs Declaration Service for imports and exports will eventually become mandatory.


If you want to avoid running into issues, start your migration today by setting up a Government Gateway account.


3. Speedy Freight can register with the CDS for me and my business


Unfortunately, we can’t. While we can offer guidance, the process of registering your business is down to you.


However, once you are fully registered and you have given us authority to act on your behalf and manage your customs declarations, then Speedy Freight can offer you complete support.


4. I don’t know how to use CDS and there’s no support


There is plenty of support available to help you get set up and use the UK Customs Declaration Service correctly. The Government website has published plenty of resources to ensure that you’re prepared.


Plus, our nationwide logistics network is on hand to help guide you through the CDS set up process. All you need to do is reach out to your local branch today

5. There’s no benefit to the CDS system


The UK Customs Declaration Service actually does more than the current CHIEF system. For example, the CDS can operate the entire UK Trade Tariff, which CHIEF cannot do. 


Plus, unlike CHIEF, CDS makes declaration data completely transparent and it's available free of charge. You and your business can easily access real-time import and export data, check tariffs, and financial statements online, without paying a penny.


6. I can just register for the UK Customs Declaration Service last-minute


This is not the case. It can take a couple of weeks to properly set up a UK Customs Declaration Service account. It’s not something you can leave until the last minute because it could completely disrupt your entire logistics operation. The time to take action is now.


7. CDS is only for imports not exports


This is inaccurate. CHIEF is being phased out to make way for CDS in two phases. Yes, CHIEF will close to new import declarations by the end of October, but it will close to new export declarations on 31 March 2023 - provided that there are no extensions to this deadline.


8. Speedy Freight can still take care of my imports and exports without CDS


Unfortunately, we can’t. To help you with your international logistics in the future, you will need to be registered with the CDS and give us authorisation to manage your customs declarations on your behalf.


Let’s get your UK Customs Declaration Service registration sorted


The CDS system is the future of UK import-export declarations. We understand that change can be difficult, but the system will help you to keep your operational costs down and reduce the administrative burdens that come with managing your import-export process through CHIEF.


While we can’t physically get you set up on the CDS system, our nationwide logistics network can offer you practical support to guide you through the process. This ensures that you’re not caught out by some of the myths that are circulating about the UK Customs Declaration Service, and gets you up properly with the minimum disruption.


All you need to do is reach out to your local Speedy Freight branch, now.

Speedy Freight, Long Wheel Base Van.

We got you covered

Dedicated, swift and bespoke – three key cornerstones of our end-to-end logistics service. With everything from white glove to temperature-controlled solutions on offer, Speedy Freight have the answers to your logistical problems. Our courier service operates 24/7, 365 days a year and covers the length and breadth of the nation. Whatever you need, whenever you need it, we’re there.

Download our brochure
Get A Quote