New customs system to launch in August

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The UK’s new Customs Declaration System is now planned to go live in August of this year with all customs declarations taking place on CDS from early 2019.

There has been concern that the new system, which will replace CHIEF, will not be ready in time for Brexit.

However, HMRC now says: “CDS will be phased in between August and early 2019, with CHIEF continuing to run during this time to aid the transition. Importers, exporters or their agents will be informed by their software provider when they need to provide the additional information to start making declarations on CDS.”

CDS has been welcomed by the UK Warehousing Association. Chief executive Peter Ward said: “There is considerable confusion among import/export businesses as to what lies ahead.

“We welcome the introduction of the new CDS to replace the CHIEF system, which is desperately out-dated and already creaking at the seams, but we need reassurances from the government that the new system will cope with the estimated 200 million extra customs entries that will result from Brexit. It is imperative that we know when and how it will be launched.

“Arguably, this single most important issue will affect all our lives – it is critical, not just for businesses, but for everyone who depends on the seamless flow of goods into and out of our country, that we get this right.”

* The Road Haulage Association has welcomed transport secretary Chris Grayling’s acknowledgement that “Our road haulage industry is right at the heart of the £110 billion of trade that takes place between the UK and EU every year”.

However, it said it has concerns rover the latest legislation on cross-border haulage as the UK continues its post-Brexit preparations.

Chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill, announced today, is an enabling Bill to instigate a contingency to cover a negotiated settlement involving permits, or the worst-case scenario – that we get no deal.

“It is standard business practice to have an effective contingency plan in place if things go wrong,” Richard Burnett continued. “In this case we need to see clear Government commitment that it will seek an agreement that does not impose new permits, quotas or limits on UK international operators.

“The road freight industry needs clarity as soon as possible as regards what is being negotiated.”

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