Guidance

Get access to the Customs Declaration Service

Find out how to access the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) to make customs declarations.

The Customs Declaration Service will be the long-term replacement for the current CHIEF (Customs Handling Imports and Export Freight) platform.

Find out what steps you need to take before and after you get access and use the Customs Declaration Service.

If you make your customs declarations on CHIEF and are only using the Customs Declaration Service to get the import VAT statements that you need to complete your VAT return, you can find out more about how to get your postponed import VAT statement.

You’ll need access to the Customs Declaration Service, so you can:

How to get access

You’ll need the Government Gateway user ID and password that you use for:

  • your business or organisation
  • yourself, if you’re applying as an individual

If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you start.

You cannot use an agent or intermediary Government Gateway user ID.

You’ll need to tell us:

Your EORI number and Customs Declaration Service registration will be linked to your Government Gateway account. You cannot apply for more than one EORI number using your Government Gateway account.

It takes 5 to 10 minutes to apply.

Get access

Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.

After you’ve applied

You’ll get access either:

  • straight away
  • within 5 working days (if HMRC needs to make more checks)

Once you have received a confirmation email confirming you have successfully registered for the Customs Declaration Service, you can set up a duty deferment account and complete a new Direct Debit Instruction if you’re paying customs duty using a duty deferment account.

Giving access to others in your business

You can add other people within your business to your CDS account so they can:

  • make declarations
  • view your financials dashboard

Follow these steps to add a team member:

  1. Sign into your Business Tax Account as an administrator and select ‘Manage account’.

  2. Add the team member by selecting ‘Add or delete a team member’.

  3. Select ‘Add a team member’ and enter the member’s details.

  4. Once you’ve added the team member, you’ll get a confirmation message.

  5. Return to the team members list where you’ll find the newly added team member, select ’Manage’.

  6. Make sure you select ‘Give a team member access to a tax, duty or scheme’.

  7. Choose ‘Manage team members’ for the ‘Customs Declaration Service‘ option.

  8. Select the team member and make sure that the ‘Customs Declaration Service’ is also selected then ‘Save’ your choices.

Published 10 December 2020
Last updated 11 May 2021 + show all updates
  1. This page has been updated with information about how to give others people within your business access to the Customs Declaration Service.

  2. Information has been added to explain that you cannot apply for more than one EORI number using your Government Gateway account.

  3. First published.