HMRC has announced it has made £50 million of funding available for its Customs Grant Scheme to help businesses prepare for additional customs declarations.

From January 2021, all UK companies importing or exporting goods will have to complete customs declarations.

Ahead of the new rules, eligible organisations can now apply for funding for recruitment, employee training and IT to reimburse the number of costs associated with increasing their capacity and enhancing their ability to complete customs declarations.

The three grant schemes are:

  • Recruitment Grant
    A £3,000 grant for recruiting new employees who will manage the customs declaration process. A further £12,000 may also be available to cover the salary costs for each new or redeployed employee.
  • Training Grant
    A grant of up to £1,500 per employee towards the cost of external customs declaration training courses. It will also cover the cost of internal training, up to a limit of £250 for per employee.
  • IT Improvements
    The grant cover 100% of the costs relating to your IT expenditure to improve the efficiency of making customs declarations.

To be eligible to apply for a grant, businesses must meet one of the descriptions below:

  • complete or intend to complete customs declarations on behalf of your clients
  • be an importer or exporter and complete or intend to complete declarations internally for your own goods
  • be an organisation which recruits, trains and places apprentices in businesses to undertake customs declarations.

In addition, businesses must:

  • have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before the submission of your application and when the grant is paid
  • not have previously failed to meet its tax obligations

Open for registration now, the scheme closes for applications on 30 June 2021, or earlier if funding is fully allocated. The grants will be issued on a first come, first served basis.