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Getting started with CDS declarations

Sequoia v5.0 onwards


Sequoia supports both CHIEF and CDS declarations in the same application. You access CDS declarations in exactly the same way as you do CHIEF declarations.

Whilst the information you need to complete declarations to CDS has changed, the way you link declarations to jobs etc. in Sequoia remains fundamentally the same.


We will need to update your Sequoia licence key before the CDS declaration functionality becomes visible.


Training


We have worked jointly with BIFA (The British International Freight Association) to produce an online elearning course aimed at those wishing to make customs declarations to CDS.

Click the image below - or click [here]


Choosing the type of declaration


Whenever you want to complete a new declaration in Sequoia you are presented with the New Customs Declaration dialog (as shown below).


New Declaration


This is the same dialog as you are used to but now, once we have updated your Sequoia licence to include CDS declarations, includes all the CDS declaration types as well as the existing CHIEF ones. Selecting a declaration type and clicking 'Create' will open the declaration form in the same way.


Note that for declarations to CDS, there is only one supplementary declaration option.

There is no difference (apart from the procedure codes etc. that you use) between a supplementary declaration for import (old SDI) and a supplementary declaration for warehousing (old SDW).


The header tab of the CDS import full declaration editor is shown below. Click on the image to see all of the CDS declaration forms.



Layout of a CDS Declaration


All CDS declarations in Sequoia, whether import or export, full or simplified, are laid out in a similar way and all have the same characteristics and behaviour. This is explained below.

Summary Panel


The summary panel at the top of the declaration form - below the Save, Send etc. buttons - displays reference and status information about the declaration.


Declaration summary panel


LRN

As soon as you select the badge in a declaration, Sequoia will generate an LRN (the Local Reference Number). This number is unique - within your system - to this declaration. It does not change if the declaration is amended (unless you change the badge) and is not reused if the declaration is cancelled.

It has no significance within the declaration other than as a functional system reference. It is sent in the declaration and returned in notifications from CDS, as a way of linking those notifications to the original declaration.

Sequoia generates this 22 character reference automatically in the following format:

<Badge>+<Port>+<Year>+<Month>+<Number> where:

Symbol Meaning Example
Badge is the badge code selected (see below) AAA
Port is the 3 character port code associated to the badge FXT
Year is the 2 digit year in which the LRN was generated 19
Month is the 2 digit month in which the LRN was generated 11
Number is a 12 digit incrementing number. As long as you don't do over a trillion or so declarations per month this should be OK! 000000000072

For example: AAAFXT1911000000000072


Sequoia uses the badge code as a mechanism for identifying the gateway through which the declaration will be sent. Whilst the badge code forms part of this reference, it has no significance to customs in this context.

You cannot therefore send a declaration in Sequoia until you have specified the badge code. This is the same for CHIEF declarations in Sequoia.


MRN

Once a declaration has been accepted by customs, CDS generates an MRN (Movement Reference Number).

Acceptance in this context means that the declaration is essentially valid. It does not denote legal acceptance; pre-lodged valid declarations are also allocated an MRN.


An MRN is a unique 18 character reference formatted as follows:

<Year>+<Country>+<Number>+<Check digit> where:

Symbol Meaning Example
Year is the 2 digit year in which the MRN was generated 18
Country is the 2 character country code of issue GB
Number is a 13 character randomly generated reference 9876AB8890123
Check digit is a single character check digit (conforming to ISO 6346) 5

For example: 18GB9876AB88901235


This MRN remains throughout the lifetime of a declaration. It does not change if the declaration is amended and is not reused if the declaration is cancelled.

It is the primary reference to the declaration. CDS does not allocate entry numbers (EPU + Entry No + Date) as CHIEF does.


Acceptance

The acceptance date/time is notified once a declaration has been 'accepted' by customs.

Acceptance in this context means that the declaration is essentially valid. It does not denote legal acceptance; pre-lodged valid declarations are also allocated an MRN.


Status

The status of a declaration will update on receipt of responses (notifications) from CDS or as a result of other processes.

Possible statuses and their meaning are as follows:

Status Meaning
Created The declaration has been created.
Submitting declaration The declaration is in the process of being submitted to customs.
Declaration submitted The declaration has been submitted to customs and a response is awaited.
Communication error submitting declaration There was an error attempting to submit the declaration to customs.
Submitting amendment The declaration amendment is in the process of being submitted to customs.
Amendment Submitted The declaration amendment has been submitted to customs and a response is awaited.
Communication error submitting amendment There was an error attempting to submit the declaration amendment to customs.
Submitting cancellation request The request to cancel the declaration is in the process of being submitted to customs.
Cancellation request submitted The request to cancel the declaration has been submitted to customs and a response is awaited.
Communication error submitting cancellation request There was an error attempting to submit the request to cancel the declaration to customs.
Accepted The declaration is accepted
Accepted with Errors The declaration is accepted but the response from CDS has notified potential errors.
Accepted with credibility checks The declaration is accepted but the response from CDS has notified FEC (Front End Credibility) challenges. These challenges will not block the declaration.
Lodged The pre-lodged declaration is 'accepted'. Acceptance in this context means that the declaration is essentially valid. It does not denote legal acceptance.
Lodged with Errors The pre-lodged declaration is 'accepted' but the response from CDS has notified potential errors (e.g. FEC challenges). Acceptance in this context means that the declaration is essentially valid. It does not denote legal acceptance.
Lodged with credibility checks The pre-lodged declaration is 'accepted' but the response from CDS has notified FEC (Front End Credibility) challenges. These challenges will not block the declaration.
Errors reported The declaration has been rejected. The errors are visible on the declaration form.
Accepted on hold (document check) Equivalent to Route 1 on CHIEF. Goods selected for documentary checks.
Accepted on hold (physical check) Equivalent to Route 2 on CHIEF. Goods selected for physical examination.
Lodged on hold (document check) Goods selected for documentary checks. Not sure this will occur for a pre-lodged declaration.
Lodged on hold (physical check) Goods selected for physical examination. Not sure this will occur for a pre-lodged declaration.
Accepted on hold (document and physical check) Goods selected for both documentary checks and physical examination. Unclear whether both notifications will be sent for same declaration.
Lodged on hold (DEFRA check) Goods on hold pending an ALVS (DEFRA) check. Not sure this will occur for a pre-lodged declaration.
Accepted on hold (DEFRA check) Goods on hold pending an ALVS (DEFRA) check.
Lodged and queried A query has been issued by customs for this pre-lodged declaration. The declaration is held pending resolution.
Accepted and queried A query has been issued by customs for this accepted declaration. The declaration is held pending resolution.
Lodged (Post clearance document check) Selected for documentary checks but these will not prevent release of goods before the checks are carried out. Not sure this will occur for a pre-lodged declaration.
Accepted (Post clearance document check) Equivalent to Route 3 on CHIEF. Selected for documentary checks but these will not prevent release of goods before the checks are carried out. However, the declaration will not be cleared until the documentary checks are completed.
Accepted on hold (payment required) Payment of the revenue (duty/VAT) is required before release can be granted.
Accepted on hold (issue with payment) There is an issue with the payment of the revenue (duty/VAT) which must be resolved before release can be granted.
Goods Released Goods released but clearance is not yet complete. This could be because the debt is provisional or because of some required post-release checks.
Goods released (Post clearance document check) Goods released but clearance is not yet complete. This could be because of some required post-release checks.
Cleared Goods released and clearance is final.
Permitted to progress Goods permitted to progress from their current location. Export only.
Permitted to progress (Post clearance document check) Selected for documentary checks but these will not prevent release of goods from their current location before the checks are carried out.
Departed Goods departed. Export only.
Departure not confirmed Goods departure has not been confirmed to CDS. Exports only.
Awaiting cancellation The request to cancel the declaration has been submitted to customs and acknowledged. Awaiting confirmation of cancellation.
Amendment rejected The request to amend the declaration has been rejected by customs.
Cancellation rejected The request to cancel the declaration has been rejected by customs.
Cancelled The declaration has been cancelled (invalidated) by customs.
Handled externally – Seized, detained etc. CDS has notified that the declaration has to be processed manually. Only used in exceptional circumstances where the system cannot handle the declaration.
Cancelled Cancelled (invalidated) CDS declarations in Sequoia are still visible in the application, unlike cancelled CHIEF declarations.


Declaration Category


Immediately below the summary panel is a drop-down list allowing you to select a declaration category.


Declaration category guidance

You can select a declaration category from the drop-down list using the dropdown icon icon to the right of the box.

If you select a category here, this guidance will take the form of ‘low-lighting’ controls (changing the background of the control from white to grey) which are not deemed necessary for that category of declaration and these controls will not receive focus when tabbing through the form.

This is for guidance only. It will not prevent you from completing information that is not strictly necessary for a particular declaration category.

However, all controls will remain editable should you wish to supply the information and will be included in the declaration made to HMRC.

Changing the required category or switching to “No Guidance Required” will not remove any of your data. Indeed CDS is less rigid than CHIEF in that it will normally allow more data than required to be submitted in a declaration.


Show Data Elements


Immediately below the summary panel to the right of the form is a button (labelled 'Show data elements') as pictured below.

Show data elements

Clicking this will display a list of all the data that can appear in a declaration (as shown below) along with it's data element (D/E) number, SAD box number and whether it can be declared at header or item level or both.


Show data elements


This list can be ordered and filtered like any other list in Sequoia. It can also be exported to a spreadsheet or other format by right-clicking on a row on the list and selecting 'Export To'.


Grids


Some data - such as Authorisation Holders or documents in box 44 - can appear more than once. This data is displayed in a grid (a list of information). Due to the amount of potential data now required on a declaration, these grids are initially 'collapsed' as shown below.

Collapsed grid control

Each grid is labelled with the name of the data which it contains, together with an indicator of how many records it contains (2 in the above illustration). On the right-hand side of each grid is an icon to expand the grid.

Clicking the expand icon displays the grid as shown below.

Expanded grid control

At the top of each grid (to the right of the label) there are 3 icons:

  • + - to add a record
  • x - to delete the selected record
  • - to collapse the grid again (this is also on the right at the bottom of the grid).


Parties - Importer Exporter etc


Data for 'parties' - Exporter, Seller, Importer, Buyer, Declarant and Representative - can include the EORI number as well as name and address. Displaying all of this information all of the time would take up a lot of room on the form.

Therefore only the EORI number and name are displayed initially (as shown below). This is the same as CHIEF declarations.

Collapsed party control

If you are creating declarations from jobs then in most circumstances the correct parties will already be filled in.

To specify a party you can type in all or part of their shortcode, EORI number or name into either the ID or name box (as above).

If an exact CRM match is found then all of the details - EORI, name, address - will be filled in automatically.

If there is more than one CRM record matching the details you have entered then a lookup dialog will display.

You can select the required party (as illustrated below) by selecting the row and clicking the [OK] button, or by double-clicking the required row.


Account lookup dialog


To the right of the name in the party control there are 2 icons:

Collapsed party control

  • x - allowing you to delete all of the information currently entered.
  • - to expand the control to display the address details.

Clicking the expand icon displays the address boxes as shown below.

Expanded party control

Click the icon to the right to collapse the control again.


Lookup Dialogs


Wherever there is a box on a declaration form that requires you to enter a code (such as a country code or document code) you can display a list of available codes.

In most cases the box will have elipses (three dots) to the right - as shown below.

Box with elipses

Not all boxes have these elipses - boxes on grids for example - but wherever a box requires you to enter a code, you can click on the elipses if they are there or enter ? - a question mark - into the box to display a lookup dialog.

Lookup dialog

Initially these lookup dialogs display without listing any available codes.

Some lists can be quite big and displaying all records at the beginning could delay loading of the dialog.

If you know which record you are looking for you can key in all or part of the name or code into the search box at the top of the dialog, to narrow the search. Clicking on the binoculars icon icon to the right of the search box will display a list of codes and associated information.

To select the required record you click on the row and then click [OK] - or simply double-click the required row. The selected code will be automatically entered into the box on the declaration.


Filtering lists

You can filter the lists displayed in a lookup dialog. Below each column header there is a text box; simply key into one of those text boxes to filter the displayed list - as illustrated below, where the name is filtered.

Lookup dialog with filter applied

More complex filters can be applied by clicking [Edit Filter] at the bottom right of the dialog. You can remove the filter by clearing what you have typed or by clicking the 'X' at the bottom left of the dialog.


Ordering lists

You can also order the list by clicking on one of the column headers. Clicking once will order it in descending order. Clicking again will reverse the order.


SAD Box Numbers


Each control (text box, grid etc.) on the CDS declaration forms in Sequoia has a label next to it which includes the SAD box number in square brackets.

The boxes are laid out, as closely as possible, in SAD box number order in the same way as they are for CHIEF declarations.



The items tab of a CDS declaration (as shown below) does not have a fixed grid at the top, listing the items, like the CHIEF declaration forms do.


Import Full Declaration


Instead there are navigation controls to the right (above the goods description box).

CDS Declaration item navigation control

You can also type the number of the item you want to go to in the 'Item' box to navigate.

Alternatively, the icon to the right will display an old style list of items (as shown below).

You can double-click an item on that list to navigate to that item or click the icon again to hide the list.


Show Messages


Once a declaration has been submitted, the Show Messages button will appear to the right of the declaration editor toolbar editor (as illustrated below).

Show messages button


Once clicked, this will display a panel giving information about all the messages sent and received for this declaration. Note - To hide the panel again, the button has now changed to [Hide Messages].


Show messages dialog


The list to the left of the panel details the actions/messages in chronological order. To the right of the list, significant details from that action are displayed.

At the bottom right, the [View XML message] button, if clicked, will cause the actual XML message to be displayed. This is essentially for diagnostic purposes. The contents of messages can be copied and pasted as necessary.


Declaration reports (ex C88, E2 etc.)


CDS declarations are based on different legislation to those in CHIEF. This new legislation mandates that all communication between trade and customs is electronic and therefore paper copies of declarations are not required.

However, it is recognised that importers and exporters at least – on whose behalf declarations are made by forwarders – will still want to see details of those declarations made in their name or on their behalf. For CHIEF declarations that requirement was usually satisfied with a ‘paper’ copy of the C88 (the data declared) and the CHIEF E2 (Entry Acceptance Advice) response.

In the absence of a consistent layout of this new declaration data, traders could be presented with different representations of the same data from different software applications, which would only cause confusion.

Whilst the legislation does include provision for paper-based declarations, this is based on the existing Single Administrative Document (SAD). That 30 year old static layout does not accommodate all of the data potentially required in a CHIEF import declaration, yet alone a CDS-compliant one.

For that reason, the majority of software developers represented by the Association of Freight Software Suppliers (AFSS) collaborated in producing a single document that would replace both the C88 and E2 documents produced for CHIEF declarations.

ASM were the originators of this collaboration and were instrumental in creating the definition and design of the new document and managing its development. It has the unofficial approval of HMRC. It is designed to display all of the data included in the declaration, something the old C88 struggled to do with CHIEF declarations.

The layout takes elements of the existing SAD layout where possible to provide familiarity and consistency with existing (CHIEF) documentation. It also utilises the idea of a ‘List of Items’ and ‘vertically expanding’ boxes from later customs documents (such as the EAD and ESS) to accommodate the additional data requirements of a CDS import declaration.

Each box containing data has the SAD box number, the name of the data included and the data element number(s), for example [14] Declarant [3/17]

The first ‘page’ (the header layout) also includes provision for a summary of the response data (previously included on the E2 report), including the latest status of the declaration as well as the revenue associated with it.

Therefore this layout is intended to be used as a single output to replace a combination of C88 and E2. The inclusion of status information also means it can be produced at any stage of the declaration process and reflect the contents of all notifications, thus replacing all of the old CHIEF reports.


To access the new CDS Declaration report, click [Reports] on the declaration editor toolbar (as shown below).

Reports button


This will display the a panel listing any already generated reports.

Reports dialog


If a report has already been generated it will appear on the list. You can generate a new report - with up-to-date information on it - at any time by clicking the [New Report] button at the bottom left of the dialog at any time.

You can also view and print the report and email it, in the same way as you are able to with CHIEF declarations.


The CDS declaration report header page layout


CDS import declaration report


Validation


The way that validation works for CDS declarations differs to the way it worked for CHIEF declarations.

For the former (CHIEF declarations), validation began as soon as you typed anything into a declaration. That process was inefficient in that it couldn't possibly check if everything was OK with a declaration as soon as you filled in one box.

It displayed a whole list of errors, suggestions and comments which reduced the more you typed.

A lot of the validation spans different boxes on the declaration (e.g. if you've filled in this box then you also have to fill in that box). It is not until you think you have filled in everything necessary that it is really possible to check if that is the case and to give more accurate feedback.

Sequoia will therefore take a different (and hopefully more efficient) approach with CDS declarations.