Meyer adopts new HMRC Customs Declaration Service with Descartes


HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is migrating away from the legacy Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system to its new Customs Declaration Service (CDS). Amongst the first organisations to adopt the new system is Meyer Group Ltd, the UK’s largest quality kitchenware supplier, who has successfully made the transition with support and guidance from Descartes Systems UK Ltd.

Founded in the early 1980s, Meyer UK has built its reputation on supplying top quality, innovative cookware to major department stores and chain stores, as well as a multitude of independent shops and cookery schools. Meyer manufacturers over 40 million pieces of cookware annually from its factories in China, Thailand and Italy, the warehousing and distribution of which is managed from its headquarters in the North West of England. The 150,000 square foot high bay warehousing and distribution facility, with the potential to house 24,500 pallets stored up to 15 metres high, also supplies export markets via a network of distributors, which involves shipping goods to Europe, the Middle East and parts of Africa.

With such a large volume of import and export customs entries to manage on a daily basis, including a range of more complicated entries such as nylon kitchen tools, which require extra documentation and test reports, Descartes recognised the benefits Meyer would gain from being involved as an early adopter of CDS.

“As a long-standing user of the Descartes eCustoms platform, we were pleased to be able to migrate from CHIEF to CDS with the unbridled support from Descartes,” comments Sean Priest, Operations Director, Meyer Group Ltd. “CDS is more complex than CHIEF and requires a lot more information in the background. This is where Descartes has been instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition. From helping to set up our templates to managing the liaison with HMRC, they were able to seamlessly iron out any teething problems that originated from the new system and with no impact on our business continuity. We’ve also been able to request changes and adaptations to CDS through our collaborative partnership with Descartes, which has been a great benefit.”

Pól Sweeney, Vice President of UK Sales and Business Management at Descartes remarked, “There are a whole range of technical and data changes between CHIEF and CDS that businesses have to address, and so we’re pleased that we could ensure Meyer UK had a successful transition through the support of our eCustoms software. It has allowed them to achieve compliance ahead of time and at ease, which in current times is important for UK businesses with an international trade footprint.”