Freight forwarders association launches an online training course for the new Customs declarations processing system


The British International Freight Association (BIFA) is launching a new online training course to help prepare BIFA members and others to operate HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

HMRC recently announced that CDS will replace CHIEF in a phased transition ending in April 2023.

The training course will provide hands on tuition, practical exercises and a technical resource, finishing with an assessment.

BIFA Director General, Robert Keen states: “BIFA has taken the initiative in regards to creating a relevant training course that will help our members understand and implement the different working methods involved with the new system.”

BIFA’s Customs Declaration Service – eLearning course is suitable for anyone completing Customs declarations and will cover the main differences between CHIEF and CDS to enable users to submit Customs declarations for exports and imports via the new system no matter which software supplier is used.

The course has been developed in conjunction with Agency Sector Management (UK) Ltd (ASM), a leading software provider to the UK Customs clearance and freight forwarding industries that also represents the interests of the freight forwarding community through advocacy activities.

The course consists of eight modules, which offer an introduction to CDS; as well as the data elements required, and the UK Trade Tariff and customs procedure codes. Other modules cover commercial relationships, arrangements and valuation; methods of payment and authorisations; as well as documents, certifications and authorisations indicators. Simulation exercises and an assessment will enable all delegates to check their knowledge and understanding about future import and export declaration processes, putting into practice what they have learnt on each module.

Keen concludes: “This course will be available from September 2021. Whilst dual-running of both systems will continue, we know enough about the new CDS system to be confident in offering a training course to BIFA members and others that will provide cost effective and invaluable advice and information. It is designed to help them to prepare for when CDS will serve as the UK’s single customs platform at the end of March 2023.”