HMRC has made record funding of £50 million available to enhance its Customs Grant Scheme. From 29 July 2020, organisations can apply for funding to reimburse a number of costs associated with increasing their capacity and enhancing their ability to complete customs declarations, ahead of the new rules from January 2021.
Eligible organisations can apply for funding for recruitment, employee training and IT, in preparation for additional customs declarations. Eligible organisations include traders and customs intermediaries (such as customs brokers, fast parcel operators and freight forwarders) who make or intend to make customs declarations for their own goods or on behalf of others. Organisations which recruit, train and place apprentices into customs intermediaries or other organisations which undertake customs declarations activity are also eligible to apply.
All eligible organisations which are currently and have been based in, or with a branch in, the UK for at least a year can apply for all elements of the grant.
The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 and we are now in a transition period that lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time there will be no change to the way organisations trade with the EU. However, we recommend to organisations that they begin preparing now for future customs arrangements from 1 January 2021, as part of the staged border controls coming into force after the end of the transition period.
Organisations who have already received funding through the scheme have appreciated the ability to access new training and resources, and the opportunity to expand their capacity and knowledge as they prepare for the future. To date, grants have supported more than 20,000 training courses, nearly 15,000 units of IT and the recruitment of almost 600 new customs agents. The additional funding will provide further support to increase recruitment of agents into the sector, as well as training and IT.
The scheme closes for applications on 30 June 2021, or earlier if funding is fully allocated. Grants will be issued on a first come, first served basis. Applications made from 29 July 2020 are subject to new eligibility criteria and new funding Terms and Conditions. Please see our eligibility page and our Terms and Conditions for more details. Please note, qualifying expenditure must have been made or committed to on or after the announcement of the additional £50m funding on 12 June 2020. The scheme eligibility criteria and funding level may be periodically reviewed and updated.
Organisations that want to apply for funding can do so online or by way of the paper-based application form.Register Here IT Grant information