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.
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:
- make customs declarations, you’ll need software which is compatible with the Customs Declaration Service
- then get your postponed import VAT statements or get your import VAT certificates so you can complete your VAT return
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 Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number that starts with GB
- Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) - find your UTR if you do not know it
- the address for your business that we hold on our customs records
- National Insurance number (if you’re an individual or sole trader)
- the date you started your business
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.
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:
Sign into your Business Tax Account as an administrator and select ‘Manage account’.
Add the team member by selecting ‘Add or delete a team member’.
Select ‘Add a team member’ and enter the member’s details.
Once you’ve added the team member, you’ll get a confirmation message.
Return to the team members list where you’ll find the newly added team member, select ’Manage’.
Make sure you select ‘Give a team member access to a tax, duty or scheme’.
Choose ‘Manage team members’ for the ‘Customs Declaration Service‘ option.
Select the team member and make sure that the ‘Customs Declaration Service’ is also selected then ‘Save’ your choices.