Thursday, August 9, 2018

So What Exactly Does the Customs Declaration Service Mean for Shippers and Importers?

Freight Forwarding Agency Explains the Details
Shipping News Feature
UK – Regular shippers, both importers and exporters, are now well used to the existing Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system, the current method by which HM Customs and Excise oversees the management of both the declaration and movement of goods into and out of the United Kingdom and is a means by which UK traders communicate with counterpart customs systems in the other member states of the European Union.

CHIEF can trace its pedigree back to the 1980’s when it was devised in conjunction with BT (then British Telecom plc) before control for this and other EU Customs systems were taken in house by HMRC after passing through the managing hands of a variety of contractors. Now, with the entire system to be replaced, in part at least due to Brexit, many will be unfamiliar or unsure of how the changes will affect them.

One of the major concerns regarding Britain’s departure from the EU is that it may be necessary to have a form of Customs declaration for all the hundreds of thousands of imports which currently require no paperwork whatsoever, being in free circulation in the member countries. To this end HMRC is introducing a new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) which, having started a phased launch from this month, replaces CHIEF from ‘early’ 2019. CHIEF will continue to run for some while as commercial organisations get used to the changes.

To assist concerned parties with the changes, freight forwarding and shipping agents John Good have prepared an easy to reference guide which explains the new processes in some detail and which can be accessed here. Jane Nash, Quality and Procedures Manager at John Good Shipping explained the company’s reasoning thus:

“John Good Shipping has an extensive client base and it was essential for us to find a way to ensure that customers could ascertain the precise requirements of the incoming system as it applies to them. We aim to ensure that all our clients remain full advised of any future updates or changes during what can be quite a complex, and worrying, time for them.”

Photo: Hopefully even post-Brexit Customs procedures will not be too strenuous