Do you import goods? Do you need to sign up for CDS?

It has recently been announced by the UK Government that businesses importing goods into the UK from anywhere outside of the UK from 1 January 2021 will have to register for access to the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

The CD, initially introduced in 2018, is due to be the long-term replacement for the current Customs Handling Imports and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

You will need to request access to use the CDS so that your business can:

  • Make Customs declarations (for which you will also need compatible software for the CDS).
  • Get Import VAT statements and certificates to assist you in completing your VAT returns.
  • Get Duty Deferment Statements.

Access to the CDS can be requested through your existing government gateway account using your user ID and password that you already use for your business or organisation, using the following link:

You will also need to provide HMRC with the following:

  • Your business’ EORI number (if you do not have one already – please get in touch).
  • Organisation’s Unique Tax Reference Number (UTR).
  • Registered business address for Customs records
  • National Insurance number (if you are registering as an individual).
  • The date on which you started your business.

We understand that the application process will take 5-10 minutes and you can receive access either immediately, or within 5 working days.

We recommend that you get access now to make sure you are ready to get your first import VAT statement when applicable.