All Businesses to use Customs Declaration Service (CDS)

Apr 4, 2022

Businesses will need to use the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) to declare all imports after 30 September 2022, and all exports after 31 March 2023. Start preparing now

You’ll need access to the Customs Declaration Service, so you can:

1. Make import and export declarations and upload supporting documents
2. Get your postponed import VAT statements or get your import VAT certificates so you can complete your VAT return make payments
3. Set up or change an intermediary or agent

How to get access

You’ll need the Government Gateway user ID and password that you use for:

  • your business or organisation
  • yourself, if you’re applying as an individual

If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you start.

You cannot use an agent or intermediary Government Gateway user ID.

You’ll need to tell us:

Your EORI number and Customs Declaration Service accounts will be linked to your Government Gateway. You cannot apply for more than one EORI number using your Government Gateway account.


After you’ve applied

You’ll get access either:

  • straight away
  • within 5 working days (if HMRC needs to make more checks)

Get help before you submit a declaration

You can use the Trader Dress Rehearsal test service to help you prepare for submitting declarations using the Customs Declaration Service. This is a free to use service.

Getting ready to send supporting documents to HMRC

You will need to use the Secure File Upload Service to send supporting documents to HMRC, such as:

  • licences
  • certificates of origin

Using a software provider

If you you’re submitting importing declarations yourself, you will need to buy specialist software to interact with HMRC’s systems.

If you use software provided by a software supplier, you’ll need to:

  1. Authorise the software provider to make declarations on your behalf. This will link your software to your Government Gateway account. Your software provider will tell you how to do this, and you may need to refresh this authorisation with your provider on a regular basis.
  2. If you’re someone acting on behalf of multiple clients, you may need to authorise the software for each client. Your software developer will be able to help you with this.
  3. Make sure they’re providing you with any software specific updates that may affect your internal processes or policies, or the information you ask for from customers.
  4. Check with your software provider whether you need access to a community system provider.

Using a community system provider

Community system providers are commercial entities that directly interface with HMRC frontier systems. They provide community network services to specific port and airport communities, of which HMRC or Border Force form a part, along with other government agencies and commercial logistics entities, such as freight forwarders, shipping lines, temporary storage facility operators and haulage companies.

If you use a community system provider, you should make all frontier import declarations either:

  • through an agent, by software
  • directly through the community system provider

Help and Support

General customs declarations enquiries

For general queries about customs declarations, you can contact HMRC online, by phone or by post.

Customs Declaration Service submission enquiries

To report issues with electronic Customs Declaration Service submissions, email:

Emails are monitored Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm.

If HMRC needs to contact you about your declarations, they will do so by email.

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