Moving to the new UK customs system

05th August 2022


Many of our customers have asked about the new customs system, and the transferral from Chief to the new CDS system. This change will impact the shipping industry (which we are set up for).  However, any importer or exporter of goods to/from the UK will need to register their EORI number for CDS.  This new system will ‘become the UK's single customs platform’ which will enable customers to submit documents digitally. 


What to do to move to the new UK customs system


We advise that importers and exporters take action NOW to prevent any delays in declaring customs requirements from 1st October. If you have any queries please contact us. We will help in any way we can to assure a smooth transition.


The below steps need to be taken to ensure goods can be imported or exported without interruption.


Most businesses will already have a Government Gateway account to access their personal or business tax account. Use this account to access the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). To set one up if you do not have one, go to the Government Gateway 


An EORI number is required

Most businesses importing and exporting will already have one. If you don't, you can apply here .


To Register for new CDS system

Use this link to register for Customs Declaration System - register for CDS this can take up to 5 working days. You'll need your Government Gateway user ID and password.


Duty & VAT Payments

If your shipping company are paying any Duty & VAT on your behalf there will be no change required.


If using Postponed VAT Accounting, you will need to access your postponed VAT statement Postponed VAT Statement via the Customs Declaration Service.


The other options for paying Duty & VAT are listed below. You can view your balance and payments in the Customs Declaration Service Financial Dashboard, as well as authorise and amend standing authorities for your payment accounts.


If you have your own Duty deferment account

The Customs Declaration Service uses a separate HMRC bank account to CHIEF, so you’ll need to set up a new direct debit please do not cancel your standing Direct Debit for CHIEF, please allow both to run alongside until the CHIEF service has ceased operating and final payments have been taken.


As advised previously, if W Knight Watson use your Deferment Account for any HMRC payments, you will have to Authorise your shipping company to do so using the CDS, again we can’t emphasise enough the importance of this as we do not want to delay any shipments.


For Duty & VAT payments you can also use below methods -

  • Cash Account– these replace the Flexible Accounting System (FAS), and you’ll be set up with one once you’ve registered for the Customs Declaration Service

  • Immediate Payment by Bacs, CHAPS, online or by telephone banking – you can pay by debit, corporate credit card or cheque

  • Individual Guarantee– you can use these to cover customs duties for one-off or high value imports

  • General Guarantee – this allows you to provide multiple guarantees from the same account, and continue importing goods into the UK and pay a disputed amount later once agreed



Once again, it’s imperative that you act on the above as soon as possible to avoid delays, please do not hesitate to contact us should you require any further information, we will do our utmost to assist where we can.