Are you ready for the CDS 999L code changes?

12 December 2023

The Customs Declaration Service (CDS / formerly CHIEF) is a critical component of the customs clearance process, serving as the new digital platform for submitting import declarations and managing other customs-related activities. 

Introduced in March 2023, a temporary waiver code (999L) was implemented by HMRC as a measure to clear cargo on arrival. However, from the 31st January 2024, the 999L waiver code for CDS import entries will be permanently removed for import declarations. This will be replaced by 10 national waiver document codes that will be mandatory to use from 1st February 2024.

Anyone who wishes to import goods into the UK must now follow the new ruling and use the following codes for their goods:

National waiver document code:Description of measure where code applies:Requirement for use:
912Y Animal Health CertificateImportation of animal pathogens Licence under the Importation of Animal pathogens Order 1980 (IAPO)
9020 Department for Business & Trade, Import Licensing Firearms and Ammunition (covering firearms only)This product is exempt as it is not a firearm
9044Department for Business & Trade, Import Licensing Firearms and AmmunitionPrivate import of a firearm/shotgun using a Firearms Certificate or Shotgun Certificate in lieu of an import licence
9026Department for Business & Trade, Import Licensing Firearms and Ammunition (covering firearms only)Firearms manufactured before 1 January 1900. Note – this exemption covers only DBT import licence requirements but firearms may still be liable to domestic licencing requiring possession of an appropriate Firearms Certificate, Shotgun Certificate or Registered Firearms Dealer Certificate
9043 Health and Safety Executive, GB Transfer Approval for explosivesExempt from the requirement to hold a GB Transfer Approval Document issued by the HSE for Explosives
920Y HMI Conformity Certificate (fruit and veg) issued in UKCertificate of Conformity not required; import / export of fresh horticultural products for industrial processing, animal feed or other non-food use
991YQuarantine Release certificateWhere coniferous wood is bark free, the waiver code can be used if the wood originates from one of the listed countries
992YQuarantine Release certificateWaiver code can be used a) where non-coniferous wood is a non-regulated species, b) where non-coniferous wood is a regulated species, but its country of origin is not listed in the retained EU legislation Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072 as amended by Schedule 7, entries 120 to 142, of The Plant Health (Phytosanitary Conditions) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 (UKSI 2020/1527)
993YQuarantine Release certificateWaiver code can be used on oak barrels and other oak cooper’s products originating from USA or Canada, and are accompanied with documentation that states the barrels and cooper’s products were heat treated to at least 176C for no less than 20 minutes during their manufacture
994YQuarantine Release certificateWaiver code can be used for prefabricated buildings that are constructed from wood products, other than logs from wood of regulated species and origin that retain their natural rounded surface

Logistics managers should regularly update their systems with the latest information to avoid miscalculations that could result in overpayment or, conversely, non-compliance.

The latest information on CDS and import codes can be found at:

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