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CDS Import / Export Customer Guidance

UK customs handling system - switchover guidance for customers.

Customs Declaration Service (CDS)

CDS is the UK government’s new electronic system for handling customs declaration processes. CDS is replacing the current Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

Migration to working with CDS for imports has to be completed by September 2022, and we are afraid customers do now have a small job of work to do to make sure their imports and exports continue to run smoothly.

CDS works differently than the previous arrangement where FLS simply filed a Direct Representation agreement for HMRC, now there is an important initial setup process to follow (below) to allow FLS to process customs on your behalf.

Importers who use a deferment account will need to set up a ‘standing authority’ on their CDS cash account once created, this will allow FLS to clear any imports which have duty applicable.

Authorise your agent to make your declarations in CDS


  1. Register for the CDS via your company Government Gateway
  2. Confirm which staff will have access to the CDS and grant permission to all who may need it.
  3. Authorise FLS (EORI GB245022345000) to act as your intermediary. (Customs Representative)
  4. Create a new Direct Debit for your Duty Deferment Account (DDA) with HMRC specifically for CDS
    (do not cancel your CHIEF one until complete switch over of systems in September)
  5. Send your Customs Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG) Number to [email protected]
    We will need this for the completion of declarations.
  6. Authorise FLS (EORI GB245022345000) to use your deferment account.
  7. Check your DDA has sufficient funds to complete import declaration clearance.
  8. Set up a CDS Cash Account if you feel the DDA does not have sufficient funds
  9. Authorise FLS (EORI GB245022345000) to use your CDS Cash Account
  10. Check your HS codes on Gov Trade Tariff version three for CDS. They may have changed


Customs, transit, safety and security declarations are processed as quickly as possible and we are happy to support you with EU importers and exporters, incoterms, office of destinations, T1s, commercial invoices, origin and product codes, best ports for your EU destination, Duty Deferment and much more.

[email protected]







What’s Really Important – is that CDS needs exacts.

The detail needed to make a CDS declaration is far greater than needed for CHIEF, (the out-going digital method of making a declaration). If you are unable to provide the detail, your import is at risk.

CDS is “data hungry” and providing instructions to an agent needs to be clear and concise, with CDS there are many new data elements that an agent will not know the answer too that has to come from the importer.

An agent will become jointly responsible for any regulatory errors on the declaration made on behalf of your business. An agent is unlikely to take the risk of getting your declaration anything other than accurate, if it could cost them in the long run.

There’s no fudging or slurring with CDS. An agent will not be able to guess, and the importer is under regulatory obligation to both understand and implement the tariff requirements.

The rules for making a compliant import aren’t changing. It is the method of making that declaration that will change from October 2022.

Be ready in good time – Action this NOW! 

Our Services include:

Outsource your import and export management

International freight team support

Fixed fees for declarations and transit docs

Consultation on origin and commodity codes

Full access to your status through client portal

Average 15% customer savings

24 hours a day,
365 days a year

our dedicated team
are here to help

Our experienced customs operators will be able to support you and advise on the best possible solution for your consignment.

For more information on our services please – [email protected]

Call us on 01633 288 400

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FLS are a fantastic team of people, from the top management down. Every member of the team I have had the pleasure to work with has been extremely helpful and has provided a fast effective solution to the requirement I have given them

Logistics Manager

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