Preparing for the Customs Declaration Service

Find out what you need to do to prepare for making declarations on the Customs Declaration Service.

Steps everyone will need to follow

You need to:

  1. Make sure you have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.

  2. Have a Government Gateway user ID, and get access to the Customs Declaration Service. If you do not already have a Government Gateway user ID you can get it at the same time.

  3. Understand the information needed to make declarations on Customs Declaration Service and how this differs from what is needed for the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) service. You can find information in the trade tariff for Customs Declaration Service and in our information pack.

  4. Consider any training or information needed by your staff, for example on the tariff changes and new data requirements.

  5. Verify the email address we’ll use to send you updates on changes to the Customs Declaration Service and notifications of new import statements and payments.

  6. Set up a new direct debit instruction for the Customs Declaration Service if you have a duty deferment account. If you’re using both CHIEF and Customs Declaration Service for your goods movements, you’ll need two direct debits - one for CHIEF and one for the Customs Declaration Service.

If you’ve asked someone else to act on your behalf for customs, they may need additional information from you, which you may need to get from your customers.

When you move to the Customs Declaration Service will depend on how you make declarations.

Using a software provider

If you use software provided by a software supplier, you’ll need to:

  1. Authorise the software provider to make declarations on your behalf.

  2. Make sure they’re providing you with any software specific updates that may affect your internal processes or policies, or the information you ask for from customers.

  3. Check with your software provider whether you need access to a Community System Provider.

  4. Authorise your software every 18 months - your software provider will tell you how to do this.

If you’re someone acting on behalf of multiple clients, you may need to authorise the software for each client. Your software developer will be able to help you with this and you should contact them for more information.

Using a Community System Provider

If you use a Community System Provider, you should make all frontier import declarations either:

  • through an agent, by software
  • directly through the Community System Provider

Giving access to others in your business

To add other people within your business (called an ‘admin user’) to make declarations for you:

  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.

VAT groups

You can only view the duty deferment accounts for the ‘representative member’ VAT group once both of you have got access to the Customs Declaration Service.

If you have a different EORI number to other companies in your VAT group you will need to create a Government Gateway ID and grant access in the Customs Declaration Service financials dashboard.

Individual’s access is limited to the company’s account, not to the wider VAT group.

Using the National Export System online

If you use the National Export System through the web to make export declarations, you’ll still be able to do this once we introduce the Customs Declaration Service. The new online service will look different from the current National Export System web channels and factor in any changes required by the Union Customs Code. You can also make export declarations through a Community System Provider, either:

  • through an agent, by using supplied software
  • directly through the provider

If you submit declarations using the email or XML channels of National Export System, you should check the steps for using a software provider.

Published 11 July 2018
Last updated 14 December 2018 + show all updates
  1. Information about when to use forms C88, C&E1179CDS, C2001CS and C285CDS has been added to the page.

  2. Page updated to indicate when CDS will be available for both importers and exporters. There will be a period of dual running of CHIEF and CDS.

  3. The page has been updated to reflect the current status of the Customs Declaration Service.

  4. First published.