Timing is tight for new Customs Declaration Service warns RSM
By Mark Salisbury
Friday, August 17, 2018 - 09:59
Following implementation of the first release of Customs Declaration Service (CDS) this week on 14 August, a selected group of importers will start making certain types of supplementary declarations on CDS. The majority of importers will start using CDS from November, once their own software provider or in-house IT team has completed development of CDS-compatible software. Exporters will follow after this. CHIEF will continue to operate in parallel while the transition of traders takes place.
Kevin Franklin, HMRC’s Customs Transformation Programme Director, said:
‘The first release of the new Customs Declaration Service is a major milestone. Going live on time is a great step to fully introducing the new system and is testament to the hard work of both HMRC staff and our partners.
We have been engaging closely with trade representatives including software developers, Community System Providers, freight forwarders, and traders themselves about CDS and we value the support from these organisations in preparing importers and exporters for the upcoming changes. Our priority now is to make sure software developers, agents and their clients are ready and we will continue to work closely with them throughout the transition.
When fully rolled out, CDS will offer several new and existing services all in one place, and due to requirements of the UCC, some additional information will need to be collected and included in import and export declarations. This means importers, exporters and agents will need to work with their in-house or external software developers to understand the impact these changes will have on their businesses.
Software providers should look at what changes need to be made to their software packages and make decisions about their approach to the roll-out of IT and customer migration in-house. They should also ensure their customers are kept up to date with the latest information.
HMRC’s support for software developers includes:
- software developer test service to allow customs software developers to test their solution against CDS functionality – you can sign up by emailing SDSTeam@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk
- HMRC’s developer hub for specific information on how to build your CDSsoftware solution
Traders can familiarise themselves with how HMRC will be implementing CDS. If you currently use the UK Trade Tariff to make customs declarations, you will need to be aware of the upcoming changes for imports.
The changes for exports will be available on GOV.UK later in the year. If your agent or courier completes your declarations on your behalf, you may wish to share this information with them.
‘It’s hard to overestimate the importance of this project for HMRC – and for the nation’s importers and exporters.
‘The new Customs Declaration Service was planned well before the referendum, but our imminent exit from the EU has made the successful implementation of the CDS programme absolutely vital.
‘Depending on the outcome of Brexit negotiations, an additional 145,000 companies who trade solely with the EU might be required to make customs declarations for the first time starting in March next year.
‘Post Brexit, the number of customs declarations is expected to increase from around 55 million currently to around 255 million each year.
‘It’s important to note that this is only a partial launch with further functionality earmarked for rollout in November and December. Timing is therefore very tight indeed, and there’s a real risk of there being too little time to resolve any operational or system issues that may occur before the final roll-out.
‘Now is the time for importers and exporters to have discussions with their freight service providers with regards to transitioning to the CDS.’