NAO report on progress of HMRC’s new Customs Declaration Service programme

Released 13 July 2017

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report on the progress of the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) programme, setting out facts about the programme ahead of implementation of the new service by January 2019.

In 2013-14, HMRC started plans to replace its customs system, known as CHIEF with a new Customs Declaration Service (CDS). HMRC started the programme before the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016, and before the government committed to seeking a new customs arrangement from March 2019.

The report highlights that there is still a significant amount of work to complete and a risk that HMRC will not have the full functionality and scope of CDS in place by March 2019 when the UK plans to leave the EU. The programme is also currently operating with some uncertainty due to the unknown outcome of the UK/EU negotiations, and no changes have yet been made to the scope of the CDS programme following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. While HMRC is working to manage the risks and issues, and is developing contingency plans, wider government must choose now whether it needs to do more to help HMRC to mitigate the risk of the system being needed, but not ready in time.

View and/or download the report: The Customs Declaration Service.

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