Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF)
The Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system records the declaration to Customs of goods by land, air and sea. It allows importers, exporters and freight forwarders to complete customs information electronically, and automatically checks for entry errors. This system is the Trade Statistics unit’s (TSu) source of administrative data for non-EU trade.
CHIEF connects with five Community System Providers (CSPs); these are independent trade systems that directly serve hundreds of carriers, transit sheds and freight forwarders. CSPs record and track the movement of goods within ports and airports, enabling them to operate more efficiently.
CHIEF is also part of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) risk assessment process. It identifies which consignments, or goods within a consignment, will need to be physically examined, or have their documentation examined. This gives legitimate goods, and those deemed to be a low-level risk, faster passage when they are directly imported from non-EU countries, or exported to them from the UK.
CHIEF data collection
Traders can submit import/export/transit or pre arrival declarations by a variety of methods:
- CSPs - Customs-approved third party service providers offering trader access to inventory controlled ports around the UK
- Excise Movement Control System (EMCS) - the EMCS is aimed at all Excise businesses who are currently involved in the movement of goods in/under duty suspense
- Import Control System (ICS) - ICS is provided for the use of carriers responsible for bringing goods into the EU that require Safety and Security checks
- New Community Transit System (NCTS) - a basic, free to use service, suitable for low volume NCTS users
- National Export System (NES) - for traders to submit Export Declarations to the CHIEF system - please note that at the present time, NES XML traders must obtain a digital certificate from an approved supplier
- Hard copy declarations - HMRC do permit the submission of manually completed customs declarations under agreed circumstances - completed hard copy declarations should be submitted to HMRC, National Clearance Hub.