UK supply chain gets up to speed on new Customs declaration

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Supply chain stakeholders across the UK have been flocking to seminars to get up to speed on the new system for UK Customs declarations coming into force next month.

The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is set to replace HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF), which has been in place since 1994.

Extra seminars led by Agency Sector Management (ASM), the British International Freight Association (BIFA) and HMRC are being planned for the UK-wide roadshow, offering businesses support and guidance through the change.

ASM chairman, Peter MacSwiney says CDS is an essential upgrade to cope with post-Brexit declarations, and will benefit the freight forwarding sector to modernise.

He says: “The introduction of CDS will allow HMRC to replace old technology and create a modern and more flexible service that will enable the better handling of both future changes and the increasing volumes of international trade.

ASM chairman, Peter MacSwiney

“Alignment with the Union Customs Code (UCC) will enable the trade facilitations required by UK business today – with Brexit taking place next year the changes are well timed for a UK logistics sector in a stage of significant transition.”

The roadshow provides businesses with the opportunity to fully understand and prepare for CDS, and gives the chance to ask questions and raise concerns about the new system.

Delegates have attended seminars held in Warrington, Pontefract and Loughborough, with more events scheduled in the coming weeks for Grays, London, Belfast and Glasgow ahead of the phased introduction of CDS in August.

MacSwiney comments: “The remaining seminars for July are full to capacity and we are receiving positive feedback from the June dates, which reflects how the industry is seriously considering the way in which the changes will impact business processes.”

The first phase of CDS is set to be implemented in August, followed by the second phase in November, and it will be fully functioning by January 2019.