HMRC sets 2023 shutdown date for CHIEF customs platform


Credit: Ralf Roletschek / CC BY 3.0

The 27-year-old CHIE FIT system for processing HM’s tax and customs returns will be completely shut down on March 31, 2023.

It will be replaced by the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), which entered into service in 2018 and is already used for processing declarations from countries other than the EU and declarations related to the transfer of goods between Ireland from North and UK. to augment.

As of September 30, 2022, CHIEF (short for Customs Processing for Import and Export Freight) will suspend the processing of declarations concerning the importation of goods from the EU. The export declaration will end on March 31, 2023 in the CHIEF and the national export system.

At this point, CDS will be the UK’s sole customs hub, processing all import and export declarations of goods to and from all other countries.

In a joint statement, HMRC’s Borders and Trade Directors Sophie Dean and Catherine Green said: “CDS is an important part of the government’s plan for a leading all-digital border that supports trade and prosperity. British companies. This announcement brings clarity to traders and the border industry. We are committed to making the transition as smooth as possible and ensuring that traders are fully supported by the new process. “


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CHIEF has been operational since 1994. Work to develop CDS as an alternative platform began in 2015.

At this point, the plan was to create a platform that could handle up to 100 million deposits each year. This comfortably exceeds 50-60 million in total per year.

A year after development work, the Brexit vote meant Britain’s border system had to prepare for the future, where the number of customs declarations processed each year is expected to exceed 250 million.

The need to significantly expand the TCS necessitated significant additional funding. Public spending watchers have also warned that failure to provide CDS could have “catastrophic” consequences for businesses and governments.

Due to the urgency and scale of work with the new customs system, HMRC has suspended, suspended, reduced or integrated over 100 other work programs dedicated to digital or transformational initiatives.

HMRC has promised to offer CDS “whether or not it raises funds” and began phasing out the platform in August 2018.

However, CHIEF continues to operate in parallel with the new system, and the technology’s final shutdown date almost 30 years ago has not been identified.

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