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Alinea Customs offers dedicated CDS support in understanding the changes.

Important changes have taken place in the HMRC IT systems that receive and process customs declarations.

The new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is a modern IT system that has replace the aging Customs Handling of Import and Exports of Freight (CHIEF) system. Alinea Customs uses CDS, currently alongside the CHIEF platform, and provides support to our clients in adapting to the new customs processes. 

CDS has been mandatory for imports since 1 October 2022.

A staggered approach has been introduced for moving businesses to use CDS for exports.

During the first phase, HMRC and its software developers will support selected high-volume declarants to move to CDS for exports by Thursday 30 November 2023.

The second stage of this approach will see all other businesses move to CDS for exports by Saturday 30 March 2024.

Follow our step by step guide as follows:

1. Register for CDS using your government gateway account

2. Set up a new direct debit to HMRC for your Duty Deferment Account

3. Authorise Alinea Customs EORI GB367945444000 to use your Deferment Accounting Number (DAN)

4. Benefit from access to a CDS Financial Dashboard

How will this impact my business?


  • HMRC CHIEF will become obsolete for import declarations from 30 September 2022, and obsolete for export declarations from 31 March 2022.

  • UK traders must register for CDS - Alinea Customs can continue to process customs declarations on behalf of your company.

  • Information will be processed by your customs agent using codes for electronic data sets, rather than through codes and processes designed for paper-based practices, and functionality and efficiency will be enhanced as the UK prepares for the introduction of the Single Trade Window by 2025.

  • It is likely that an increased amount of information may be requested by your customs agent when processing your customs declarations concerning areas such as Incoterms, awareness for all values, the location information, and nature of the transaction information.

  • Traders will have access to a Customs Declarations Service Financial Dashboard which permits them to view information relating to customs declarations processed on behalf of the company.

  • VAT registered businesses should indicate Postponed Accounting on the Customs Declarations Service Financial Dashboard and if they may have customs or excise duty liability on their imports, they must decide which which payment method to use.

  • Payment options include the ability to make an immediate payment to cover the customs debt before the goods arrive at the border, rather than the former system of using the customs agent's FAS or DAN account.

  • Traders can also make prepayments into an account to service customs debts, and have the option to set up a duty deferment account and direct debit

  • To enable Alinea Customs to use a customer’s deferment account on declarations, the customer must authorise Alinea Customs under GB EORI GB367945444000 via your Government Gateway account under deferment options.

How do I register for CDS?

How do I view information relating to my imports declared on CDS?

Using the links below, you can:


Download Alinea Customs' guide to CDS

Alinea Customs digital brochure 'HMRC migration from CHIEF to CDS' provide a step by step guide to registering for access to the new CDS platform and financial services dashboard.

Let’s Work Together

Please contact our team today to set up your customs clearance account

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