Customs intermediaries and traders completing customs declaration forms have until Friday 5 April 2019 to apply for a grant to support employee training and IT improvements. The grants, worth £5 million in total, will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis so it is advisable to apply as soon as possible. The government is investing £8 million in the sector overall to “increase its capacity”.

Mel Stride, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“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.”

According to HMRC, businesses can apply for one or both grants:

  • £2 million will be allocated to fund training for intermediaries and traders involved in customs declarations now or in the future. The grant will cover up to 50% of the cost of training staff.
  • £3 million of funding is available to improve IT for small and medium sized businesses in the customs intermediaries’ sector. The grant will be used to invest in packaged software that boosts the automation and efficiency of completing customs declarations.

Businesses can apply on online by visiting GOV.UK.

Victoria Holland, corporate and commercial partner and part of B P Collins’ Brexit team, adds:

“There have been several Government announcements about how businesses could be impacted in the run up Brexit and it’s likely that there will be many more. It’s imperative that companies keep on top of these, otherwise their operations could be harmed in the long run or they may not be taking advantage of funding which could really bolster their business against the UK’s departure from the EU. Please get in touch if you have any concerns.”

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