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Comparisons between CHIEF and the Customs Declaration Service and their key differences

Discover the differences between CHIEF and the Customs Declaration Service


There are several significant variations between how declarations are made on the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) and how they are now done on Customs Handling of Imports and Exports Freight (CHIEF).


1. The Law

CHIEF is based on Harmonisation regulations from the Community Customs Code (CCC) and the Single Administrative Document (SAD) (boxes) The Union Customs Code (UCC) and Data Integration and Harmonisation regulations serve as the foundation for CDS. This is essentially a transition from employing paper-based rules on CHIEF to data processing rules on CDS.


2. Tariff - Declaration Declaration Completion Requirements

The CHIEF Tariff contains the criteria for completing CHIEF declarations (online).

The CDS Tariff specifies the CDS declaration completion criteria (online). There are distinct sections for:

  • declaring Imports

  • declaring Exports

  • Inventory Imports

  • Inventory Exports

It is critical that you utilise the proper tariff. If you use the CHIEF tariff to submit a CDS declaration, it will be refused since the completion conditions are different. If you use CHIEF codes in your declaration, it will be denied since the code does not exist on CDS.



3. Information input

The CHIEF declaration is designed for paper completion and has various areas that take data in free text format. Except for the name and address columns, most data components in CDS are confined to code format.

  • 68 Boxes on a Single Administrative Document (SAD) form, subsets used for imports and exports

  • New data components added to CDS as part of UCC data sets: 91 data items are utilised in imports and exports. Instead of a single collection of boxes for all declaration kinds, each declaration type has its own data set. A subset of the 76 Data Elements for imports and 65 Data Elements for exports is based on the usage of the items.

The eight data element groups are

1. Message information

2. References

3. Parties

4. Value

5. Shipping details

6. Goods identification

7. Transport information

8. Other


4. Codes for Procedures

CHIEF provides 7-digit fixed Customs Procedure Codes (CPCs) for each product item. CDS Codes are divided into two parts: a single 4-digit Procedure Code and up to 99 3-digit Additional Procedure Codes (APCs) for a single goods item. There is no one-to-one correspondence between CHIEF CPCs and CDS Procedure Codes (PCs) (APCs). CHIEF CPCs are unique to a product, while CDS PCs / APCs are various, interchangeable combinations that vary based on the situation.


5. Overview of Main Changes







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