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Getting access to CDS Test Declarations

Sequoia v5.0 onwards

Upgrading to Sequoia version 5.0 or greater is not the only thing you need to do to access CDS declarations, although it's certainly the first part of it.

Creating a new ASM Online account for TDR

You will shortly be receiving an email inviting you to sign up to the new TDR platform. At this stage it is not necessary for the person creating the account to also have Government Gateway credentials, as "dummy" credentials will be assigned by the system.

When you click on the link in the email you will be taken to the new account creation page where you will be prompted to enter your details. This webpage can be accessed via the Chrome, Edge or Firefox web browsers. It will not work with Internet Explorer.

Your "User Name" will be your email address, and this must be unique. It should prepopulate on the website from the link that we send you.

You will need to enter your first name, your last name, and then create and confirm a password. This password will need to be a minimum of eight characters and must contain at least one upper case character, one lower case character, one number and one special character such as ! or #

Create Account

Signing into your new account

Once your new account has been created you will be taken to the login page to sign in and continue with the authorisation process.

Your Username will be auto-populated from the Account Creation details that you have given, and you will have the option to check "remember my login" so that the next time you log in from the same machine, your details will be remembered.

If you are not signing into your account immediately after creating it, then click here to go to the login page


Once you have logged in here you will be taken to the Welcome page, and prompted to continue - just click on the blue "continue" button in the top right-hand corner of the page.


Select your Government Gateway accounts

There are options here to sign up for CDS, NCTS or TDR. At this stage you will be selecting the option for TDR only


CDS Trader Dress Rehearsal

So that you can sign up to use the CDS Trader Dress Rehearsal (TDR) we need to generate Test Credentials, which you can then use to log into the Government Gateway site. These take a couple of seconds to generate and you will not need to do anything for them to appear - just navigate to the page. Once they appear you can use the copy buttons to copy them onto your clipboard and then paste them into the Government Gateway site which will open up into a new window for you when you click on the "authenticate" button.

Below is a screenshot of the page. The credentials you see here are not the ones that you will be using. These will be unique to you, and will be displayed on the webpage once you have landed on it.


Once you click on the blue Authenticate button, the HMRC Government Gateway page will open in a new window so that you can easily copy your generated credentials over.

Important information There is a copy button placed beneath the Test Credentials. You can use this button to copy first the Username which you can then paste onto the HMRC site, and then the Password for which you can do the same.

Once you have landed on the HMRC website the first page you see will look like this:


Click "continue" to be taken to the HMRC sign-in page where you can paste in your Test Credentials.


Once you have done this, you will be prompted to "Grant Authority" to ASM so that we can send CDS Trader Dress Rehearsal Declarations on your behalf.


Once you have clicked on "Grant Authority" you will be returned to the ASM authentication platform, where your TDR authentication will be confirmed. You should see the date that this is due to expire which indicates that you have successfully authenticated.


At this point, if you know your Government Gateway credentials, then you can proceed to authenticate your live CDS as well. This does not mean that you have to (or will be able to) start using it straight away, but it does allow you to get both steps out of the way if you prefer. If you're not sure of your Government Gateway credentials, then you can always return and do this at a later date.

Live CDS

Clicking on "here" will take you a page where you will be prompted to select to authenticate either CDS or NCTS. You should just select the option for CDS, and then click on the blue "authenticate" button which will then forward you on to the HMRC Government Gateway website.


You will then be taken to the HMRC Government Gateway website, where you will be guided through the necessary steps to authorise ASM to send declarations on your behalf. For these steps it is essential that you know your Government Gateway credentials and that you have access to the device that will be used for two-factor authentication. Upon completing the Government Gateway steps you will again be returned to the ASM online authentication portal where, if successful, you will see the date that your CDS authentication is due to expire.

Restart your Sequoia Service Monitor service to update your licence

Go to Microsoft Services on the Sequoia Server and restart the ASM Sequoia Service Monitor.

To access Microsoft Services, press the Windows key on your keyboard then type the word "services" and press enter.

If necessary, contact your IT department in order to do this.


Enable your ASM Sequoia Helios Gateway:


Again from Microsoft Services go to the ASM Sequoia Helios Gateway, and then right-click on it and go to Properties:


Where it says "Startup type" go to the dropdown menu and select "manual", apply and then OK this change. Once this has been done the service will be started by the ASM Sequoia Service Monitor service after a brief period, however you can right-click on the line and just click "start" to get the service working immediately.

Testing TDR Connectivity

To test connectivity between your Sequoia installation and HMRC's services (in this case the Trader Dress Rehearsal service) you should transmit your first declaration with virtually no information in it. This is simply to get an 'error' response. This makes sure the declaration has reached the TDR environment and that responses come back to you.

Create a test declaration

Within your Sequoia application, click the Test Declarations toolbar button as shown below. If this button is not visible, please reload your Sequoia application.

Test Declarations

The New Test Customs Declaration dialog will be displayed.

Accessing test declarations

Select the Standard (Full Import Declaration) option and click the Create button.

This will display the CDS test declaration editor. The immediate difference you will see is in the colour of the declaration form - live declarations are blue; test declarations are green (and have TEST in the title bar at the top of the form) as shown below.

The difference between live and test declaration forms

Since we only want to test communications with this first declaration, it is not necessary to complete all of the declaration data as a rejection from CDS will suffice. However, an LRN (Local Reference Number) and declaration type are required.

To generate the LRN, click the Badge drop-down and choose any of your badge codes.


The LRN will be shown on the summary panel at the top of the declaration editor.

Now click the Decln Type [01] drop-down and choose any of the options.

Declaration type

Once both of these values have been set, click the Send button to send the declaration to HMRC's TDR system.

Checking the test declaration response

Open the Find Declaration utility, either from the option in the Customs module folders or from the Find menu on the main Sequoia toolbar.

Click the 'Saved Search Criteria...' drop-down and choose Test CDS Declarations as shown below.

Test declarations saved search

This will populate the search criteria with the information required to only return test CDS declarations in the search results.

Click the Search button. The test declaration you just created should now appear in the search results grid. The Customs Status column should show the status of this declaration. If you can't see that column then double click on the row on the grid and the test declaration editor will be displayed.

Check the Status showing in the top right hand corner (as shown below).

Declaration status

If the communications test was successful, the status should show 'Errors reported'.

If the Status is 'Errors reported'

If the declaration Status is showing 'Errors reported' then congratulations!, this indicates that you can communicate with the TDR environment to make test declarations.

[Click here for the table of contents] for more information on what is available in this resource to help you make CDS declarations.

If the Status is not 'Errors reported'

Close the declaration, wait for a minute and then click the [Search] button again to refresh the result.

Double click on the search result row to open the declaration again. If the Status still does not show 'Errors reported' then this may indicate there is problem with end-to-end communications.

In most instances, this is caused by a firewall blocking communications between Sequoia and ASM's messaging service. Please see this page which provides some general guidance around firewall issues. This may help the people responsible for the firewall to resolve the problem.

Once the firewall has been updated you will need to re-send the declaration.

Open the declaration again and this time click the Tools drop-down button on the declaration editor toolbar and choose Unlock.

Unlock declaration

Click 'Unlock' when prompted. Now click the Send button.

Wait for a minute or so and click the Search button again to refresh the results.

If the Status of the declaration is now 'Errors Reported' follow these steps.

If the Status of the declaration still does not update to 'Errors reported' then this would indicate there are still problems with end-to-end communications.

At this point please contact the ASM helpdesk for assistance.