The deadline to apply for customs support funding has been extended until 31 January 2021. The scheme was first announced in September 2019 and had been scheduled to close on 31 January 2020. The grant funding can be used to help businesses with costs around recruitment, training and IT improvements if they complete customs declarations.
There are 3 grants available to help qualifying businesses complete customs declarations.
- Funding for training that helps the business to complete customs declarations and processes.
- Additional funding for customs intermediaries to help recruit new staff to complete customs declarations.
- Additional funding for customs intermediaries for IT improvements to help complete customs declarations more efficiently.
To date, applications have been made for around £18.5 million out of a possible £26 million – meaning there is at least £7.5 million left to claim from HMRC.
Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:
'The UK will be leaving the single market and customs union at the end of 2020, and businesses will need to prepare to submit customs declarations.
Customs agents, freight forwarders and fast parcel operators can take advantage of the extended period by applying for grants to help them scale up and get ready.
Customs processes can be handled by a business directly, but most businesses currently trading outside Europe use a customs agent.'