Apply for grants for completing customs declarations
A scheme to help intermediaries and traders deal with the anticipated flood of post-Brexit customs declarations requests is now open.
The Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are offering grants totalling £8 million for training and IT improvements ahead of the UK leaving the EU.
“Following extensive engagement with the customs intermediaries sector, we have listened to their concerns about how they will satisfy the extra demand for customs broker services,” Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride, said.
As part of the investment, £5 million in funding is now available to help businesses meet the costs of employee training and IT improvements.
Of that sum, £2 million is available to fund up to 50% of staff training costs for intermediaries and traders who are either already completing customs declarations or intend to do so in the future.
A further £3 million is available to help with improving IT provision in small and medium-sized employers in the customs intermediaries sector.
Available only to those currently completing customs declarations on behalf of importers and exporters, the grants will fund investment in packaged software that increases the automation and productivity of completing customs declarations.
Businesses can apply for funding from one or both pots.
Applications are open to any business or sole trader that completes customs declarations (including customs brokers, freight forwarders and fast parcel operators) with the proviso that they are based in, or have a branch in, the UK.
Information about how to apply for the customs declarations grants is available at www.gov.uk and the deadline for applications is 5 April 2019 (although HMRC warns that the scheme will close sooner if all the funding is allocated before that date).