Customs Declaration Service: Goods Identifications

September 26, 2022

AGI News

Group 6 Data Element of the CDS covers the identification and classification of goods being imported and exported. It also provides information on the quantity of goods determined by weights, packaging, and other methods of measurement where appropriate.

The current Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system is ending. CHIEF import declarations will close after 30th September 2022. CHIEF export declarations and the National Exports System (NES) will both close after 31st March 2023. They will be replaced by the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

Size, weight, and packaging of goods

When identifying goods, either the net mass or gross mass must be recorded. The net mass is not required for non-controlled goods. Where applicable, however, it should be recorded in kilograms and be the weight of the goods themselves without packaging. Up to six decimal places can be used to record net mass with standard rounding up and down to the nearest kilogramme.

Where a record of gross mass is required, this is the total weight of the goods and packaging. This excludes weight of any containers or transport equipment. If, however, a pallet is included in the transport documents, the weight of the pallets should also be included in the gross mass calculation.

Packaging of goods refers to any materials and components used to contain, wrap, and protect goods during transportation. Packaging is defined as temporary containers used for protection or preservation during transport. It does not include bottles, cans, pallets, or freight containers.

The importance of description precision

Goods descriptions should be sufficiently specific to allow for clear identification, examination, and classification of all cargo. Descriptions should also allow for debt support in case a supplementary declaration is not provided.

When goods are taken from storage in a customs warehouse or excise warehouse, the relevant stock numbers must form part of the goods’ plain language description. A full description of the goods will usually contain relevant information such as volume, brand name, container size, and strength (products containing alcohol).

For all goods descriptions, general terms with insufficient precision will not be accepted. For more detailed information on contents descriptions visit the government website.