Trade bodies welcome HMRC’s announcement on switch from CHIEF to CDS
The British International Freight Association (BIFA) and Agency Sector Management (ASM) welcome the news that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has agreed a slight easement in the implementation timetable of CDS that will replace CHIEF, which is the current system used for processing Customs declarations.
The existing system, CHIEF will be closed to new Import Customs Declarations on 30th September 2022, with all import declarations thereafter having to be submitted via the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS).
However, HMRC has announced that whilst it still expects all new Import Customs Declarations to be made via CDS from 1st October 2022, CHIEF badge holders will given the opportunity to seek permission to use CHIEF beyond 30th September, 2022, if they have a clear business reason, acceptable to HMRC, which prevent the declaration being made via CDS. Not having made the necessary preparations for the switch will not be considered a clear business reason and the easement is likely to be short term.
Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association said: “In 2019, when HMRC announced its proposed plan for completing delivery of the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS), and migrating traders from CHIEF to the new platform, we expressed the view that the timetable would be challenging.”
Peter MacSwiney, chairman of Agency Sector Management: “We felt that the state of readiness across all parties in the supply chain, from Customs intermediaries through to traders, was not sufficiently advanced to ensure a smooth transition. There was concern that if CHIEF was actually turned off there would not be sufficient numbers of CDS-ready organisations to prevent serious cargo backlogs at air and seaports.
Keen continues: “In the intervening period, BIFA has worked very closely with ASM, as well as the Community Service Providers (CSPs), through our Customs Policy Group and roles within the Joint Customs Consultancy Committee (JCCC), to represent the views of BIFA members and others that submit Customs declarations to HMRC.
“Having made further representations via the programme board seeking clarifications on behalf of our members, we are reassured to hear that it is HMRC’s intention to allow CHIEF badge holders to apply for a discretionary extension, which will give all concerned a further short grace period to finalise their transition and for software developers to complete their system development.
“But, the important thing to remember is that that this discretionary period is short and designed to facilitate those traders who are close to, but have not fully migrated to CDS. So anyone with their head in the sand over transition from CHIEF to CDS really needs to act fast.
“Those who continue using CHIEF without seeking authorisation will face consequences including the possible removal of the ability to access CHIEF.
MacSwiney adds: “CDS has been a long-time in the making, and there have been many changes in the implementation timetable, but the critical point to understand is that this extension for CHIEF will be temporary and any business that makes Customs declarations must continue to work towards transitioning from CHIEF to CDS, as a large proportion of BIFA members, and users of ASM Customs processing software, are already doing.
"Taking this approach until there is confidence that the new system is fully developed, stable and tested is pragmatic and shows HMRC has been listening to the ongoing lobbying on the subject that has been done by ASM and BIFA.”
Note for Editors:
The British International Freight Association (BIFA) represents UK companies engaged in the international movement of freight by all modes of transport. A not-for-profit organisation, BIFA is funded by subscription and run by its members for members. It operates with a full-time Secretariat, which administers and manages the Association’s affairs. BIFA provides an effective and proactive organisation dedicated to improving standards of professionalism within the logistics and supply chain industry.
Agency Sector Management (UK) Ltd (ASM), is a leading software provider to the UK Customs clearance and freight forwarding industries that also represents the interests of the freight forwarding community through advocacy activities.
Ref: Ian Matheson, Impress Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 7894 406762