CHIEF – Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight

Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) is the UK government’s current electronic system to handle customs declaration processes. It will be replaced by CDS in future. CHIEF supports the National Export System (NES) by providing an electronic gateway for making customs declarations.

To get started on CHIEF, you need to complete following steps:

  • Register for direct access to CHIEF by completing form PA7 as published by HMRC.
  • Email the document to HRMC’s CHIEF Operations (
  • HRMC CHIEF Operations will send you a “CHIEF Role and Location” by email.
  • Create a Government Gateway account and link the CHIEF Role and Location to your Gateway account.

After completing the registration process, you can start submitting export declarations to HMRC’s CHIEF system.