HMRC’s new Customs Declaration Service was greeted with a cautious welcome by the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA), which took the time to mention the concerns around Brexit’s impact on customs regulations, especially among import and export businesses.
“We welcome the introduction of the new CDS to replace the CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import & Export Freight) system, which is desperately outdated and already creaking at the seams, but we need reassurances from the government that the new system will cope with the estimated 200 million extra customs entries that will result from Brexit. It is imperative that we know when and how it will be launched,” explained Peter Ward, CEO of UKWA.
He also insisted that a smooth transition would be impossible with the necessary recording of data and collecting of taxes and duties relating to all UK import and export movements post-Brexit.
What will happen to importers and exporters is that they will be expected to sign into CDS through a Government Gateway account that will provide them with self-service tools, checklists, and guides. CDS will also require some additional information for declarations o that it aligns with the World Customs Organisation Kyoto Convention that is currently being implemented in the UK. Additionally, several changes to location of goods identification will be necessary.
UKWA’s National Conference taking place on the 7th and 8th of March at Casa Hotel, Chesterfield, will address the issues around the forthcoming changes and their impact on import and export businesses in the UK. Those that wish to attend will have a better insight into what lies ahead; they will be given guidance on new requirements, and will have the opportunity to ask direct questions.
“In June 2016 over 17 million people voted to leave the UK, but I question how many of those voters even understood the difference between the single market and the Customs Union, let alone the serious ramifications of leaving the Customs Union,” Ward commented. “We don’t yet know where this will end – ‘Hard’, ‘Soft’ or any other kind of Brexit, one thing we know for sure is that it will bring challenges for our industry on an unprecedented scale.”