HMRC extends £8 million customs funding training deadline

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced that the deadline for applications for funding from a Government initiative designed to help businesses prepare for the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) has been extended to 31 May 2019.

The £8 million funding will help businesses to meet the cost of employee training and IT improvements for customs intermediaries and traders who complete customs declarations.

The funding is one of several measures from HMRC to help get businesses ready for the exit from the EU, with the Government sending letters to 145,000 VAT-registered businesses that trade with the EU to advise them how to prepare for a no deal scenario and publishing more than 100 pages of guidance for businesses on procedures at the border in the event of a no deal scenario.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the fund during the 2018 Budget. It will be broken down into £2 million to fund training for intermediaries and traders completing customs declarations.

£3 million will be provided for IT improvement, which will be available to provide packaged software for SMEs who are currently completing customs declarations on behalf of importers and exporters.

The remaining £3 million will go towards increasing the training provision. HMRC will provide funds for service provider Knowledge Pool which is working alongside training providers to increase the number of courses available to help provide this training.

Financial Secretary Mel Stride MP, said: “We are doing everything we can to get businesses ready for the UK leaving the EU, however businesses also need to take action themselves to prepare.

“There is help available – we have provided funding to support businesses with customs processes, and we are now extending the deadline to 31 May 2019 giving more time for applications.”

How do i apply?

Applying for the funding is broken down into two grants, a training grant and an IT improvement grant, and certain criteria must be met to be able to apply.

To be eligible for the training grant you must meet the following criteria:

  • Complete customs declarations for yourself or someone else or plan to in future
  • Import from, or export to the EU and complete customs declarations or plan to in future

To be eligible for the IT improvement grant you must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently complete customs declarations for importers and exporters
  • Have less than 250 employees
  • Have an annual turnover of less than £50 million