£16 million funding announced for businesses preparing for 'No Deal Brexit'

Wed 4 Sept 2019
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

customs brexit grants

The government has announced new grant funding worth £16m towards helping businesses train staff in making customs declarations and to help businesses that support others to trade goods to invest in IT. This funding follows the Chancellor’s £2.1bn cash injection into government departments last month to prepare for a no deal Brexit, doubling the funding put towards Brexit preparations this year.

It was announced last month that £344m has been put towards border and customs operations, including the hiring of more border officers and the improving of transport infrastructure around ports. 3,000 customs agents have already been trained as part of an £8m investment earlier in the year, which also went towards the development of new online learning products for training Customs staff, including the new UK Customs Academy which was launched on 12 August.

The second wave of government grants launched this week includes £16m to be invested in helping businesses have all the support they need to be ready for Brexit.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman MP said:

“Brexit takes place on 31 October and we urge all businesses to make the necessary preparations to be fully ready. The government has doubled the support available, so that thousands more customs experts are on hand to help businesses on and after Brexit day.”

How to use the grant funding to prepare for No Deal Brexit

Businesses can get funding for the following:

  • training that helps your business to complete customs declarations and processes
  • IT improvements to help your business complete customs declarations more efficiently

You can use the funding to reimburse what your business has spent on relevant IT improvements and training since 31 July 2019, as well as in the future.

The funding is open to businesses that are established in or have a branch in the UK when the grant is paid to you, and for those that have not previously failed to meet tax obligations. You can apply for just one of the grants, or both.

To apply for the grants, your business must either complete customs declarations for yourself or someone else (or intend to in the future) and you must import from or export to the EU.

Funded training must give you or your employees the skills to:

  • complete customs declarations
  • carry out customs processes – this can include relevant training in safety and security
  • help other businesses with import and export processes

The training does not have to lead to a formal qualification.

The grant will give you up to 100% of the cost of training for your employees, up to a limit of £2,250 for each course. It will also cover the cost of training you run internally, up to a limit of £250 for each employee on the course.

More information about both the training and IT funding can be found here.

Courses provided by the IOE&IT that can be funded

Several of the training courses provided by the Institute of Export & International Trade can be funded by these grants, including:

How do I apply?

When you apply, you’ll be asked for your business’s:

  • registered name and number
  • contact details
  • VAT number (if this applies)
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • most recent utility bill

You’ll also be asked for:

  • a quote for the cost of the training
  • the CV of the trainer if the training will be delivered internally

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is administering the grants for HMRC.

Apply online through PwC