Customs grant scheme extended

The Customs Training scheme application period has been extended to the end of May 2019.

Customs intermediaries and traders who complete, or intend to complete customs declarations can apply for funding for training and IT. An investment of £5 million has been set aside for these grants to help increase capacity in preparation for the UK leaving the EU. The application deadline has been extended and the scheme will now close on 31 May 2019, or earlier once all the funding is allocated. Organisers say applications for the training grant are particularly welcome.

HMRC says it has also engaged with the training sector to increase the number of courses available in the short term, as well as investing in the development of new courses which will be available over the coming months.

The Customs Intermediaries Grant Scheme is designed to help businesses build capacity and improve efficiency in completing customs declarations. It can provide funding towards the upfront costs of training staff and investing in IT to improve efficiency.

Each business will have different needs and may be able to apply for one or both grants but must meet certain requirements depending on which grant they apply for. The training grants are available to customs intermediaries and traders, and the IT grants are available for existing customs intermediaries only.

Funding of £5 million has been set aside for grants to help meet the upfront costs of employee training and IT improvements:

• £2 million is available for training grants for any business completing customs declarations (or intending to complete customs declarations in the future)

• £3 million is available for IT improvement grants for customs intermediaries who complete customs declarations on behalf of importers and exporters, and who are Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (less than 250 employees and annual turnover less than EUR 50 million)

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have been appointed on behalf of HMRC to administer the customs intermediaries’ grants.

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