New guidance on CDS departure messages

Exporters using the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) need a departure message to confirm the movement of goods. But some exporters aren’t getting one, so their goods aren’t receiving departure status.

HMRC has issued a reminder to exporters on what they need to do if they export goods from Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) ports.

CDS doesn’t have an ‘assumed departure’ status

The Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system included an ‘assumed departure’ status. This was to support indirect EU export declarations.

Assumed departure made sure CHIEF declarations showed on customers’ export reports. It was never official evidence of the goods being exported. Because the UK has left the EU, there’s no assumed departure status on the CDS.

What you need to do

Please make sure that you, and everyone in your supply chain, correctly follow GVMS processes on creating a Goods Movement Reference (GMR) for goods from Great Britain to the EU.

This includes quoting all Declaration Unique Consignment References (DUCRs) in your export GMR.

If you don’t follow the correct processes for goods leaving from a GVMS port

You won’t:

  • get a departure notification (DMSEOG) from HMRC
  • be able to ask for a departure status from HMRC (unless the export contained excise duty suspended goods)
  • see the declarations in your CDS trader reports.

CDS will issue:

  • a notification (DMSGER) after 45 days saying you haven’t departed your goods
  • a notification (DMSINV) after 150 days saying we’ve invalidated the declaration.

When you can ask for a CDS departure status

If your goods leave from a GVMS port, you can only ask HMRC for a departure status if the export included goods where the excise duty has been suspended. Otherwise, we’ll reject your request.

If your goods left from a port without the GVMS, inventory facilities or an approved loader, you can still ask HMRC for a departure status.

In both cases, you would ask for a departure status by filling in form C1602.

What to do if your UK exports should have received a CDS departure status

If you’ve followed the processes but still haven’t received a DMSEOG notification, you should:

  • ignore the 45-day notice [DMSGER] and 150-day notice [DMSINV].
  • make sure you have the appropriate commercial evidence to verify the departure. You may need this for VAT zero rating, excise duty drawback or discharging a customs special procedure with duty liabilities impact. You can
    find more guidance on GOV.UK.

Other than this you don’t need to take further action, and you don’t need to notify HMRC.

Your HMRC trader reports won’t show declarations that haven’t received departure status.

Indirect exports from Northern Ireland

The 45-day notice (DMGER) may show that HMRC didn’t receive confirmation of the export from the Office of Exit in another EU member state. Please contact the ECS helpdesk if this is the case.

Further information

You have until Tuesday 4 June 2024 to move all your export declarations to the CDS. After this date, you will no longer be able to submit new customs declarations through CHIEF. HMRC recommend that you move your export declarations to the CDS as soon as you can.

You can find further guidance on what you need to do when making a full declaration to send goods from the UK on GOV.UK.