Chief: The Final Frontier

On 30th September 2023 HMRC are set to fully close the CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and export Freight), representing a significant change to how traders and border’s function and operate.

This means that if you are an importer or exporter you need to make sure your business is prepared for the changes and that you have the right things in place and the right trade partners to ensure your business can trade smoothly and efficiently. 

If you need any assistance with completion of customs entries, we can complete CDS entries at all major ports including the below:

As fully approved AEO (approved Economic Operators) we can provide:

  • a lower risk score which may reduce the number of checks customs carry out on your documents and goods.
  • your consignments receiving priority treatment for customs controls.
  • Accurate and efficient completion of all customs activities

The benefits can include:

  • faster clearance at port
  • less interventions
  • lower risk scores
  • More accountable and accurate systems and data entry
  • Ready Entries completed within 2 hours of receipt of paperwork and routing

If you need any assistance or further information, then please call us on 01924 377117 or e-mail on

The CHIEF system has been the hub for importers and exporters for the last 40 years, so the migration to a whole new infrastructure and system for customs activity has represented a huge sea-change for the supply chain. The new system is set to integrate imports and exports and provide a single hub and interface for all declarations Post Brexit.

CDS integrates newer technology, is more flexible for future changes or trade deals that are implemented and is linked to the new Full UK Trade tariff Trade Tariff: look up commodity codes, duty and VAT rates – GOV.UK ( It requires more data to be inputted and captures this in a different way, meaning declarations are now more extensive than they were previously.


30 Sep 2022 Import declarations closed on CHIEF

30 Nov 2023 Export declarations/National export system to close.


What this means for you:

Whilst most of the changes and complexities of the additional data and detail on customs formalities will be covered by our team when we complete the entries for you, there are some steps that will need to be taken by all importers and exporters to ensure that they are ready for the implementation of CDS. 

Please register for CDS now:

Before you start your registration, you will need the following information:

  1. Government Gateway ID and password.
  2. EORI number.
  3. UTR find your UTR .
  4. Address of your business held on customs records.
  5. National Insurance (NI) if you’re an individual or sole trader.
  6. The date you started your business.

If you are a GB business and export to the EU or rest of the world, then you will need to ensure you are registered, otherwise you will not be able to provide the export custom declarations needed for cargo to move. So, it is essential for all GB companies to ensure they complete the above steps to be ready for changes are CDS replaces Chief after the 30th November.