3,500 businesses are at risk of losing the ability to import goods

More than 3,500 businesses risk significant delays in importing goods if they do not adopt the UK’s new streamlined customs system now.

Businesses submitting import declarations must use the Customs Declaration Service from 1 October 2022, when Customs Import and Export Freight (chief) the system will be turned off for import declarations.

Businesses should check that their customs agents are prepared to use the customs declaration service. Those who do not have a customs agent must set themselves up to make their declarations using software that works with the system.

Many businesses are already using the customs declaration service, although about 3,500 businesses are yet to move.

It can take several weeks to be fully installed on the Customs Declaration Service, so those waiting to file risk being unable to import goods into the UK from 1 October.

Julie Etheridge, hmrcThe Director of Programs and Operations Delivery for Border and Trade said:

Businesses now have only 2 months left to use the Customs Declaration Service for imports. Businesses needing to relocate now or risk being unable to bring their goods to the UK.

Registration takes time so businesses should start going to the Customs Declaration Service to ensure a smooth transition and avoid disruption to their business.

To help all businesses and agents prepare for Customs Declaration Service, declarants are being contacted by phone and email to inform them of the steps they need to take. More information is available on GOV.UK, including a Customs Declaration Service toolkit and checklist that breaks down the steps traders should take.

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Merchants can also register or check that they have access to the Customs Declaration Service on GOV.UK and access live customer support services for additional assistance.

Once registered, businesses that use a duty deferment account will need to set up a new direct debit instruction to the Customs Declaration Service by September 30. If this is not established, the Duty Deferment Account will no longer be usable, and individual immediate payment will be required each time an import declaration is made.

chief Exports will be closed for declarations on 31 March 2023, requiring businesses to use the Customs Declaration Service to ship goods outside the UK.