Replacing the old Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system, HMRC says the CDS is a more modern and secure IT platform for traders / freight agents to use to make their customs declarations. It is a single system that has been designed for use by both importers and exporters. The idea is that the new system will be able to cope with the expected growing demands of British-based companies.
The CDS system should provide British trading firms with a single service that will allow them to rapidly upload supporting paperwork, to make arrival notifications and to query any declaration status their consignment may currently have. In addition, CDS will provide a single location where traders and their customs clearance agents can receive notifications from customs officials.
Finally, CDS is designed to handle XML requests for the consolidation, movement or querying of consignments for the purposes of inventory linking. In short, it is a unified customs declaration and handling system.