Important Steps for Smooth Transition to Customs Declaration Service (CDS)
18 September 2023

Important Steps for Smooth Transition to Customs Declaration Service (CDS)

CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) is closing after nearly 30 years and being replaced by CDS (Customs Declaration Service).

As a result, Ziegler has begun migrating from CHIEF to CDS.

Ahead of the closure, HMRC have decided to implement CDS exports over 3 stages:

Non inventory (GVMS locations) – Live now
All inventory ports – September 2023
All export declarations must be through CDS – 30th November 2023

There are some key points you must do to ensure your goods continue to move without delay.

1. Duty Deferment Account

Anyone who has their own Duty Deferment Account will need to register a new Direct Debit Instruction (DDI).

CDS uses a separate HMRC bank account to CHIEF and a new CDS DDI will be required.

It can take approx 24 hours before your new DDI is live and therefore any delay in setting up could delay your goods if not done prior to Ziegler migrating across to CDS.

Please note, that you will need to grant Ziegler authority to use your Duty Deferment Account on your financial dashboard. Please ensure you grant Ziegler authority with IMMEDIATE EFFECT.

CHIEF DDI should not be cancelled – this is to settle outstanding CHIEF payments.



If you had registered for your GB EORI before 01/02/2019, then you’ll need to subscribe to CDS via their Government Gateway. Please note, if a new GB EORI has been applied for since 01/02/2019 automatic registration to CDS will have occurred.

However, please double check you are registered with CDS prior to the dates as outlined previously, an export or import declaration cannot be made on your behalf if your EORI is not registered to CDS and therefore goods will not clear customs.


3. New Cash Account

The Flexible Accounting System (FAS) is replaced with new Cash Accounts for CDS declarations. Once registered for CDS you’ll automatically be issued with a cash account.

Please note, you will need to grant Ziegler authority to use your New Cash Account on your Government Gateway with IMMEDIATE EFFECT.

Key Changes

You will receive a mixture of entries from us until we are submitting all declarations in CDS. Therefore, you will receive ENOs or MRNs depending on whether we’ve submitted them in CHIEF or CDS.

CDS will be paperless, what this means, you will no longer receive a SAD document. However, our customs software recognises importers and exporters would still want evidence of an entry being made on their behalf. Therefore, they have created an unofficial SAD document that is not recognised by HMRC.

CDS (IP/OP/TA/EU) – If you have applied, renewed or had existing authorisations you would have been provided with a CDS authorisation number in either a new or replacement authorisation letter from HMRC. If you have been contacted by HMRC and provided with new authorisation numbers and guarantees, including deferment guarantee, please provide us the information by using the template below.


Useful Links

CDS communication pack

Traders check list

Subscribe to CDS

Set up DDI for CDS

Financial dashboard


If you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch via our website at