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September 13, 2022

Getting ready for the new CDS platform implementation: A Q&A with Raj Devsi

The 30th of September marks the last day to make import declarations on Customs Handling of Import & Export Freight (CHIEF), the UK’s legacy customs system, which will be permanently replaced by the new, fully electronic portal called Custom Declaration Service (CDS).

Typically, the import and export process would be handled by a customs broker, however some organisations may have an internal link which would cover and complete the paperwork independently.

As the HMRC deadline approaches, we asked Raj Devsi, Import/Export Manager at Carousel, a few questions to highlight what’s changing for businesses importing good into the UK and give our clients expert insights on how transitioning smoothly from CHIEF to CDS without compromising their operations and wider business objectives.


  1. What does migrating to the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) mean for our clients?

The CDS function will be the UK’s sole customs platform, therefore every organisation who moves goods across UK Borders importing and exporting will need to ensure that their broker is able to declare goods through the new system.

The data required on CDS is different to what was captured so far on CHIEF, and will have an impact on how the UK Trade Tariff (based on the commodity code of the product) is used, as well as the way traders can make finance payments to HMRC through their deferment accounts. Acting as a customs broker for our clients, Carousel is covering all bases to make sure our clients are fully informed about the changes and are compliant without incurring any delays through the customs process.

Our strategy has been working closely with HMRC and other Government Agencies to test the CDS system.  This has allowed us to gain a better understanding of what’s required at each stage of the new process. As always, our aim is to ensure continuity in our clients’ supply chain, and we are committed to supporting all our clients throughout the changes.


  1. What do our clients need to do to prepare for the migration?

A key part of the transition is how declaration payments will be processed. Our advice is to avoid any further delay Our clients must ensure that they have completed the following steps before the deadline of the 30th September 2022.

If clients are using their own Duty Deferment Account (DDA), they will need to set up a new Direct Debit Instruction (DDI) – formally known as a Direct Debit Mandate – with CDS. This will replace the previous mandate for CHIEF. Importantly, if this step has not been completed by our client, Carousel will no longer be able to post duty (and VAT) to the clients’ deferment account, and declarations will not be cleared.

More details available here: Set up a Direct Debit for a Duty Deferment Account.

Moreover, additional documents will be required for some commodity codes imported into the UK. Our clients must review the commodity codes for their imported goods and inform us of any additional documentation required to be declared. This may include, but not limited to, import licenses for sanctioned goods, or specific technical data for the products.

To learn more please visit the Government website, in relation to the declaration completion guide.

Any clients with import declarations currently managed by Carousel should have already received step-by-step instructions ahead of the switch at the end of the month, but if there are any more questions, please reach out on .


  1. What are the risks if businesses do not comply by the 30th of September?

CHIEF system will close and, by missing the deadline to migrate onto CDS, businesses would no longer be able to be import goods into the UK.


  1. Where can Carousel clients go if they have questions?

Our team is available to help clients navigate through these changes. For any enquiry on CDS or specific requirements, they can get in touch via email, at

Further information is available on the government website.


  1. How else can Carousel help to facilitate this transition?

We have a dedicated, in-house team ready to assist our clients at every stage of the migration process. As experts, we can advise and work with you toward the very best solution, offering flexibility and peace of mind. Our customs clearance service can also be chosen as part of a tailored end-to-end logistics solution, or as a standalone brokerage option, so both existing Carousel clients and new prospective clients, who do not currently use our customs clearance service can also get access to our brokerage service.

More information is available on our website on our Customs brokerage solutions, where our eBook is also available to download for free.


  1. What challenges have you observed while helping client during the CDS transition?

Clients may find that they need additional support setting up the Duty Deferment Account (DDA), to make sure all information is placed correctly. This is also the case for the different way Direct Debit Instructions (DDI) need to be populated, which may also require extra attention. For further assistance, please get in touch with our team.


  1. How have clients, who have already completed the CDS migration, found the transition?

For clients using Carousel’s deferment account, the transition has been very smooth, many have said that they’ve not even noticed a difference. For those using their own deferment account, there have been some queries regarding the correct set up. In these cases, we have assisted them by working with HMRC where necessary. Overall, we have had 100% success with the migrations completed, giving complete peace of mind and compliancy to our clients.


  1. Is there anything else our clients need to be aware of?

The CDS migration will be taking place in stages. This means, from the 1st of October, the CDS migration will only affect Imports to the UK. From the 31st of March 2023 however, CDS will also be in place for all Exports from the UK, therefore businesses should start to prepare now to avoid disruption and delays at this point. Our clients can expect to receive detailed communications about this second phase, during the next few months.


Need more info on the Customs Declaration Service migration? Read our blog to learn more.

Have you got a question about your customs requirements? Contact our team today.


* Editor’s note: This post was originally published on the 13th of September 2022. For more information regarding CDS Declaration Completion after the 30th of September, please refer to the UK government guidelines or seek advice by contacting Carousel’s Brokerage team directly via

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