Customs Declaration Service (CDS)

Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) and Customs Declaration Service (CDS)

The old CHIEF system is being phased out and transitioned to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), 

The CDS supports making import and export declarations when moving goods into and out of the UK. 

You can make declarations as soon as you have signed up to use the CDS. The system has been developed to improve and enhance the process for traders.

User guides and more information can be found at  Business tax: Import, export and customs for businesses – detailed information – GOV.UK ( 

Customs in Japan

Goods that are imported into Japan are subject to both customs duty and consumption tax, which is currently 10%.

In addition to consumption tax, other internal taxes may be applied to certain products such as liquor, tobacco, petroleum and liquefied petroleum gas.

Depending on the nature of the contract signed between UK companies and their Japanese counterparts, customs duties may be paid by either party on the UK side or the Japan side.

Tariffs vary depending on the product, and reference information is provided by the Japan Customs and Tariff Bureau.

The Japan Tariff Association also provides books available for purchase about Japan’s laws and regulations concering customs duties and procedures.

The Japan Customs website provides additional information on the subject, as well as the opportunity to contact a customs counselor if you have enquiries regarding customs formalities.

The International Air Transport Association may also be a good source of information concerning freight, cargo, tariff and transportation issues.

Last updated November 2023: Steve Crane OBE