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Brexit planning: Grants Available…

HMRC have announced changes to the customs grant scheme to allow more people to access the funding and help they need to ensure they are ready to trade with the EU after the transition period ends.

For detailed information, please follow the following link:


  1. Am I Eligible?
  • Customs intermediaries, including customs brokers, freight forwarders and express parcel operators – as well as traders who complete their own declarations, are among those who may benefit from the new co-funded training project under General Block Exemption Regulations (GBER);
  • Businesses with Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status who have had a base in the UK for less than 12 months can also now access the grant scheme.
  • Your business must:
    • be currently established in the UK;
    • have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before submitting the application or hold Authorised Economic Operator status;
    • not have previously failed to meet its tax obligations;
  • In addition, your 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;
    • trade with the EU and do not intend to complete your own declarations but want to undertake customs training.


  1. What Can I Apply For?
  • You can apply for grants to help your business with customs declarations, in relation to:
    • recruitment, training and IT to help your business to complete customs declarations;
    • co-funded training project to help your business complete customs declarations;
    • trader-training to understand customs;


  1. How Much Support Is Available?
  • Recruitment, training and IT grant
    • The grant will give you £3,000 towards recruitment costs for each new employee;
    • You could also get up to £12,000 to cover the salary costs for each new or redeployed employee;
    • It will also cover the cost of training you run internally, up to a limit of £250 for each employee on the course;
    • The grant will give you 100% of the costs relating to your IT expenditure to improve the efficiency of making customs declarations
  • Trader training
    • If you are applying for customs training for traders, the grant will cover up to £1,000 per organisation;
    • You can apply for funding for up to 100% of the cost of training.
  • Co-funded training project
    • a maximum of 2 million euros


  1. What If I Am New To The Customs Process?
  • If you are new to the customs process then you can apply for grants of up to £1,000 per organisation to support the cost of basic customs training;
  • This will help traders understand what is involved in making customs declarations and can help them prepare for when they speak to an intermediary.


  1. How Will Grants Be Allocated?
  • Grants will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis and applications will close on 30‌‌‌ ‌June 2021, or earlier if all funding is allocated.
  • Applications for the co-funded training project, trader training and for AEO businesses opened on 16‌‌‌ ‌November 2020.
  • For more information on the scheme and how to apply, please read the guidance on GOV.UK


  1. How Do I Apply?
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is administering the grants for HMRC.

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Urgent message from the Business Secretary

There is just over a month to go until the end of the transition period and there will be new rules to follow from 1 January 2021 onwards, As Business Secretary, I urge to avoid your business operations being interrupted when the transition period ends.

You can find out what you need to do by going to

The top actions you can take now to prepare are:

1) Check the new rules on importing and exporting goods between the EU and Great Britain from 1 January 2021. Different rules will apply in Northern Ireland.
Your business could face delays, disruption or administrative costs if you do
not comply with new customs procedures from 1 January 2021,

2) If you are planning to recruit from overseas from 1 January 2021, you will need to register as a licensed visa sponsor.

You may not be able to legally hire people from outside the UK if you do not have a licence. New employees from outside the UK will also need to meet new job, salary and language requirements. Irish citizens and those eligible under the EU Settlement Scheme are not affected.

3) Use GOV.UK to identify changes affecting manufactured goods, such as new marking requirements or approvals needed, to ensure your business is ready to sell them in the UK and EU.

You may not be able to sell your goods in the UK and the EU from 1 January 2021 unless you act.

4) If you are moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland, check the latest guidance.

At the end of the transition period, the Northern Ireland Protocol comes into force. There will be special provisions which only apply in Northern Ireland so if you move goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland make sure you check
the latest guidance at:

The Government is providing a range of support, including webinars to walk you through the changes. These are available to watch on demand at:

You should also check with your suppliers and customers that they are taking action.

These are challenging but the transition period is ending on 31 December 2020 and there will be NO EXTENTION.

Unless you take action, there is a risk your business operations will be interrupted.

The Government will be there to help you to take advantage of the many new opportunities that being an independent trading
nation will bring.

Yours sincerely,

The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP

Secretary of State for Business,

Energy & Industrial Strategy

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Brexit planning: deal or no deal, prepare for customs…

With the Brexit transition deadline looming, HMRC is now in the process of sending letters to all VAT-registered businesses within Great Britain that trade with the EU and/or the rest of the world.

The letter, which you can access through the following link, sets out the action businesses need to have taken in order to continue to trade freely with EU firms from January 1, 2021.


  1. Do I Need To Act Now?
  • YES!
  • It is really important that you act nowa free trade agreement will not remove any of the revised reporting requirements and unless you have all the correct processes, contracts and agreements in place you will not be able to trade with the EU from January 1, 2021.


  1. What Is Changing?
  • Businesses will need to make import and export declarations to move goods between Great Britain and the EU, as currently happens between the UK and countries outside the EU;
  • From 1 January 2021, if you send goods from Great Britain to customers in the EU, you will be responsible for completing export declarations for those goods
  • Firms that import controlled goods from the EU, such as animal products, alcohol or tobacco, or firearms, have to make declarations from 1 January 2021.
  • Businesses that import goods from the EU into Great Britain not on the controlled goods list, and have a good compliance record, have the option to defer declarations for up to six months, although you must still keep records of everything you import.
    • These import simplifications mean businesses will have a window to make supplementary declarations for imports, so you will not need to declare at port, as long as you have a good compliance record.
    • Authorisation is necessary to make the supplementary declaration and many businesses will use customs agents to do this
  • From 1 July 2021, all traders moving goods will have to make declarations and pay relevant tariffs at the time you move your goods.


  1. What Do I Need To Do?
  • Businesses that rely on others such as freight forwarding companies and fast parcel operators to deal with import and export declarations are advised to contact their partners to ensure they are covered.
    • By doing so, you are ensuring that you have everything in place by 31 December 2020, and to ensure you can continue to trade with the EU.
    • You need to ensure that details about your transactions, such as how your business imports or exports, and the type of goods, along with the quantity, customs value, and where the goods are going, is clearly understood by your agent if they are to deal with gaining authorisation to make supplementary declarations.


  1. What Are The Implications Upon Tariffs Payable?
  • The amount of tariffs due, if any, will depend on the value, category and ‘origin’ of the goods being moved.
  • Businesses will need to be familiar with these termsunfortunately that may mean going beyond the procedural information contained within HMRC’s letter.
  • HMRC has previously said that import VAT does not have to be paid at the border if goods in a consignment do not top £135 in value.
    • The only exceptions will be excise goods and gifts.
  • New rates of customs duty for imports, the UK global tariff, are still to be introduced, while the free Trader Support Service (TSS) will handle the new processes arising under the Northern Ireland Protocol from 1 January 2021.
  • HMRC has committed to providing more guidance on changes to trade with the EU over the coming months.
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