Customs

Are you ready for CDS? Changes September 30th!

July 4, 2022
Glen Saunderson
8 Minutes

Are you ready for CDS?

HMRC are upgrading their Custom Declaration platform for the first time in over 20 years, replacing the existing Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system with the Customs Declaration System (CDS)

The last date for Import Declarations through CHIEF will be September 30th, 2022, with the last date for Export Declarations being 31st March 2023.


What do you need?

  • A Government Gateway account

Most businesses will have by now already set up a Government Gateway account as it is required to access both personal and/or business tax accounts., however, if you do not yet have one you apply for a Government Gateway Account here.

Please note: You must have your own Government Gateway account, you cannot use an account of your Agent and/or another third party.


  • An EORI Number starting with GB (Economic Operator Registration and Identification)

If you do not have one, you can apply for a GB EORI here.

Please note: if you have an existing EORI but it does not start with GB, you will still need to apply for a GB EORI Number, please click the above link to apply.


  • CDS Registration

Using your Government Gateway account details, you will need to subscribe to the Customs Declaration Service here.


You will need to provide;

  • Your GB EORI Number
  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) – Find your UTR number here
  • The address for your business as held on customs records
  • Your National Insurance number (if you’re an individual or sole trader)
  • The date you started your business.


How do you pay for Duty & VAT?

  • If you hold your own Duty Deferment Account

CDS uses a separate HMRC Bank Account to CHIEF, meaning you will need to set up a new additional Deferment Account, specifically for CDS here.

Once set up, you will need to authorise Unsworth (and/or any other freight forwarding companies you work with) to be able to use your CDS Deferment Account. This will need to be done via your CDS Finance Dashboard (through Government Gateway).


  • If you utilise Unsworth’s Deferment Account

Nothing will change for you.


  • If you are using Postponed VAT Accounting

You will access your statement through the CDS Financial Dashboard.


Other options are as follows:

  • Cash Account Information here

This replaces the Flexible Accounting System (FAS), you will be automatically set up with a cash account once you have registered for CDS.


  • Immediate Payment Information here

BACS, CHAPS, Online/Telephone Banking, payable by Debit Card, Corporate Credit Card or Cheque. 


  • Individual Guarantee Information here

Use these to cover customs duties for one-off or high-value imports.


  • General Guarantee Account Information here

A general guarantee account allows you to provide multiple guarantees from the same account, rather than needing to provide separate guarantees, and continue importing goods into the UK and pay the amount due later, once the amount is agreed. 

View your balance and payments in the Customs Declaration Service Financial Dashboard, as well as grant and amend standing authorities for your payment accounts.


The Unsworth Customs Solutions team are on hand to support you throughout this transition.

Contact us directly here, or email your Operator directly if you have any queries or questions.  

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