Dear User,

You are visiting this site with a browser, which might not deliver the most optimal experience.

You are still able to proceed, but in order to best experience this page, we recommend using Edge, Firefox and Chrome.


HMRC’s Customs Declaration Service (CDS) - a flexible declaration system that can handle anticipated future import and export growth - is set to replace CHIEF as the UK’s single customs platform, supporting the UK’s trade with the EU and the rest of the world.

The decision to replace CHIEF with CDS was made before the EU referendum, but developments since have been factored into the planning so that CDS is scaled to handle the increase in the volume of declarations resulting from Brexit.

CDS already plays an essential role in movements between Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and Northern Ireland, and Northern Ireland and the rest of the world.

  • The switchover to CDS will take place in two phases:

    • All import declarations must be made in CDS by 1 October 2022
    • All export declarations must be made in CDS by 1 April 2023
  • From the dates outlined above, all UK import and export customs declarations must be made in CDS rather than in CHIEF. It is possible that the transition timeframe may change; we will keep you updated if it does.

    The good news is that if DHL Global Forwarding handles your customs declarations, we are CDS experts and already successfully clearing shipments through the system. Therefore, we will automatically switch to CDS for your declarations from the dates required and the transition should be seamless for you, although we do need some one-off information from you as outlined below.

    1. If you are an importer or exporter of goods to or from the UK, please click the button below to share your new CDS Authorisation numbers and Customs Guarantee details with us as soon as possible.
      If you have not yet received this information from HMRC, please contact your usual HMRC office.
    2. If you are a UK importer and run your own Deferment Account, you need to do the following as soon as possible to ensure that your deferment is ready to use with CDS:

Not Using DHL for Your Customs Declarations?

If you are not currently using DHL for your customs declarations and would to find out more about our comprehensive range of services.

Useful Information

  • Find out more information to help you prepare for the change from the UK Government website.

  • Find out the key differences between CHIEF and CDS on the UK Government website

  • CHIEF is based on the Community Customs Code (CCC) and Single Administrative Document (SAD) Harmonisation rules. CDS is based on the Union Customs Code (UCC) and data integration and harmonization rules.

    This means: It’s a move from using paper-based rules on CHIEF to data processing rules on CDS.

  • CHIEF declaration completion requirements can be found in the CHIEF Tariff.

    CDS declaration completion requirements can be found in the CDS Tariff which includes separate sections for declaring imports, declaring exports, Inventory Imports, and inventory exports.

    This means: Using the correct tariff is essential. CDS declarations using the CHIEF tariff will be rejected. And declarations using CHIEF codes will be rejected, too, as the code does not exist on CDS.