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Brexit grants for customs declarations

Once the UK leaves the EU, businesses will need to complete customs declarations for goods crossing the UK border – unless a deal is reached that provides otherwise. Funding to help with training for completing the customs declarations has been made available by HMRC.

HMRC is currently implementing a new digital customs declaration service, which all traders will need to use – either by completing declarations themselves or using an agent to do it for them.

HMRC has made available funding to help businesses complete customs declarations. Grants are available to enterprises established (or with a branch) in the UK to help train their employees to deal with customs procedures. UK "customs intermediaries" can apply for funding for investments in IT. The schemes will close for applications on 31 January 2020 or when all of the £5m funding is allocated. The schemes are administered by PwC for HMRC.

Training costs for completing customs declarations

The grant provides funding to UK companies trading with the EU for training to:

  • complete customs declarations or other declarations required to complete customs processes; and
  • carry out the technical processes of customs procedures.

The training does not have to lead to a formal qualification. Current or unrelated training cannot be funded.

The funding covers the full costs of training up to £2,250 per trainee for externally delivered training or £250 per trainee for internally delivered training.

IT grants for customs intermediaries

IT improvement funding is available to existing customs intermediaries who currently complete customs declarations on behalf of importers and exporters, have 250 employees or less and annual turnover of €50 million or less or a balance sheet total of no more than €43m.

The IT improvement grant provides funding toward purchasing the first year licence of a packaged software solution "to increase the automation or productivity of your business in completing customs declarations".

The funding can also be used:

  • to buy hardware that’s needed for the software to run;
  • to install and configure the software and hardware; and
  • for related software training.

Bespoke software or unrelated hardware and networking costs are not eligible for funding.

In both cases applicants must submit evidence of payment within 2 calendar months of the grant offer being issued.

Businesses that applied for wave 1 of the grant scheme earlier in 2019 can still apply for funding under the second wave, although their earlier application will be taken into account.