Innovative CDS Practice Tool

Enhancing their E-Training portfolio with a standalone Customs Declaration Service (CDS) practice tool which can also be used in face-to-face workshops to develop and embed new skills.



The Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) was established 85 years ago to support UK and global businesses in growing their international trade in overseas markets. It empowers organisations and equips individuals with the expertise to trade effectively, sustainably and competitively. It provides education and training to professionalise the UK’s international traders.

It works alongside the UK government and delivers national and international programmes, acting as evangelists for the UK and establishing UK processes and standards globally.

The IOE&IT is the world’s leading export and international trade advocacy organisation, consulting and lobbying on behalf of businesses and stakeholders.

It also co-runs the online Customs Academy, dedicated to customs skills and developed at the request of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).


The IOE&IT are at the forefront of the changes in international import and export rules when it comes to regulations and procedures.

Since Brexit, the UK has been on a journey to digitise the import and export process and within that has developed and launched new systems and platforms. One such platform is the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) which replaces a system known simply as CHIEF. CDS talks to other platforms such as HMRC and automates many steps in the process.

This new platform raises challenges for importers and exporters, including significantly more data fields to complete and differences in the formatting of codes. Data must be entered precisely, otherwise the declaration will be rejected or the importer may be requested to pay more duty than is actually due.

The IOE&IT were looking for a licence-free solution which could be used in various training settings (online supported, online self-serve, and in-class) to help learners make custom declarations.


Amphigean considered applications in which it could create an effective tool within a modest budget and through testing confirmed that Articulate Storyline 360 would be ideal.

IOE&IT CDS TOOL screenshot

The IOE&IT developed import/export scenarios and provided Amphigean with the required data for a correct declaration

IOE&IT CDS TOOL screenshot

Amphigean designed the User Interface to feel like a commercial CDS tool, but unique to the IOE&IT, ensuring they were not seen to promote any particular software provider

IOE&IT CDS TOOL screenshot

The tool contains multiple pages and uses free text and drop-down menus to enter the data

IOE&IT CDS TOOL screenshot

Succinct information is provided for each data entry along with links to the website for CDS guidance

IOE&IT CDS TOOL screenshot

On submission, users are shown which of their data entries are correct or incorrect, and can return to the tool to alter their declaration

IOE&IT CDS TOOL screenshot

Users can save or print their results to share with their tutor or colleagues to discuss progress and success


A highly adaptable training tool enabling the development of critical skills in a safe working environment

Learning face to face and online

Flexible use – online and face-to-face workshops

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Tailored to provide practice on scenarios where mistakes are often made


No ongoing cost for deployment across the delivery scenarios

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Built into advanced courses on CDS to provide practice

It has been a delight to work with Amphigean as our partner to develop our suite of digital training courses, the development journey demonstrated both professionalism and integrity and instilled much confidence in us in their abilities to deliver on point. The IOE&IT are excited about launching this series of innovative products which we believe are unique in the international training space.

The Institute of Export & International Trade


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Our vision to adapt the use of Articulate Storyline by using a unique blend of variables, triggers and state views to emulate a highly complex tool

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Our attention to detail, required to align the complex layers used within the authoring tool to deliver a seamless learner experience


Our instructional design, determining how to deliver the practice in unique ways where the functionality required was not possible in Articulate


Our knowledge of the import/export processes and the use of the Customs Declaration Service