Any trader making export declarations needs to move to a new HMRC system from March 30 this year. The CHIEF system is being fully replaced by the Customs Declaration System, and anyone who has been using the old system will now have to move across.

There has been a transition period from the old to the new system, but it ends on this date. You will need your Government Gateway ID to subscribe to the system, plus:

  • Your EORI number that starts with GB or XI — if you do not have one you can apply for an EORI number when you subscribe — you’ll need to meet the eligibility criteria to register for an XI number.
  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) — find your UTR if you do not know it.
  • The address for your business that we hold on our customs records.
  • Your National Insurance number (if you’re an individual or sole trader).
  • The date you started your business.
  • Your EORI number and Customs Declaration Service accounts will be linked to your Government Gateway user ID. You cannot apply for more than one EORI number using your Government Gateway user ID.


What happens once I’ve subscribed to the new system?

Once you have subscribed to the new system, you will either gain access within two hours, if HMRC doesn’t need to make any additional checks, or five days if it does. It is best to give yourself plenty of time in case your access is delayed, so you don’t find yourself needing to move goods but not having access to the right paperwork.

If you have already subscribed to the new system for either imports or exports, you don’t need to sign up again.

Will I always be able to access it?

There might be times when the system isn’t available, either because of maintenance or some other problem. This could create problems if you leave too little time before you need to export or import goods from or to the UK and there is an issue.

To help prevent any problems like this, you can keep an eye on the Customs Declaration Service: service and availability issues page. It will help you avoid any planned maintenance on the site and tell you if there any problems with access. To make life even easier, you can also sign up to receive email notifications about the service availability, enabling you to plan more effectively.

Just sign in with your One login if you have it or sign up for this if you haven’t yet.

We can help you meet your obligations

If you need to get onto the new system for customs declarations and you’re not sure what to do, then please get in touch with us and we can explain what you need to know.