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CDS. Customs Declaration Service

Here's a guide to the CDS system which has replaced CHIEF in September 2022 (UK imports) and March 2023 (UK Exports).  Every importer / Exporter must register for CDS even if using a broker/agent.

For more information please visit the GOV website for CDS here.


HMRC have now replaced CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import Freight) System to Customs Declaration Service (CDS), this is the application for declaring import and export declarations in the UK.

Imports switched over from end of September 2022 and Exports changed during March 2023.

We strongly recommend you review these steps to ensure importation / exportation of your goods have no interruption.

If you don’t have a CDS login yet then you can subscribe here.


Register for a Government Gateway account, this is to access the CDS service.


If you do not have one, you can register for a Government Gateway account here.

It is very important to have a government gateway account if you are an importer or exporter.


The process is simple and will not take long to receive your account.


If we or another freight forwarding company you work with are paying your VAT & Duty on your behalf and collecting funds from you then the process will remain the same. 
If you’re using PVA (Postponed VAT accounting) you will need to access your postponed VAT statement via the Customs Declaration Service.   

If you have your own deferment account you will need to register it again with customs on CDS with direct debit details.

To pay duties & taxes you can also choose:

Cash account – replaces FAS (Flexible Accounting System), set up once you’ve registered for the Customs Declaration Service.

General guarantee account – this allows you to provide multiple guarantees from the same account, and continue importing goods into the UK and pay a disputed amount later once agreed.

Individual guarantee – you can use these to cover customs duties for one-off or high value imports.

Immediate payment by BACS, CHAPS, online or by telephone banking – you can pay by debit, corporate credit card or cheque.


You will also need to authorise Vikstar Limited (or other freight companies) to use your EORI VAT number and/or deferment account. 

This applies if we are acting under direct representation or indirect representation for you.

Complete this form and email it to us once you have authorised on CDS.

To avoid any disruption on your import or export shipments we recommend you complete all these steps immediately and if you are using another agent/broker for customs clearances please contact them to ensure they are CDS ready.

We are here to give you further assistance on this or any other matters relating to your import or export requirements, please feel free to call or emai:


TEL: +44 (0)20 85379206 



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