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

To add other people within your business (called an ‘admin user’):

  1. Sign in with your Government Gateway user ID and password.

  2. If the other people do not already have a Government Gateway user ID select ‘Manage account’, ‘Account users’ and then ‘Manage users’ to create a new admin user, we’ll send them an email with their new Government Gateway user ID.

  3. If the other people have a Government Gateway user ID, they will need to get access to the Customs Declaration Service.

  4. Select the team member and set their permissions so they can access the services you want them to be able to see for your business.

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

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.