Thousands of UK businesses could face ‘significant delays’ in customs system shift


Thousands of UK businesses risk “significant delays” to importing goods if they fail to move to the country’s new customs system before autumn, the government has warned.

More than 3,500 businesses yet to transition to the Customs Declaration Service will be impacted when using the old system known as the Customs Handling Import and Export Freight (CHIEF), which will be axed at the beginning of October.

“Businesses need to move now or risk being unable to bring their goods into the UK,” HM Revenue & Customs director of programme and operational delivery for borders and trade, Julie Etheridge said in a statement.

“Registering takes time so businesses should start moving to the Customs Declaration Service to ensure a smooth transition and avoid disruption to their business.”

Firms have just two months until their imports will be impacted by the shift to a new customs system but will have until March next year before exports are hampered.