HMRC releases £5m fund for firms to prep for post-Brexit customs system

Government cash will be used to help businesses buy software and train staff


Credit: Ralf Roletschek/CC BY 3.0

HM Revenue and Customs has released £5m of funding for traders and customs intermediaries to improve their IT and train staff in preparation for the UK’s post-Brexit customs system.

From this week, international traders, freight and parcel firms, and customs brokers can apply for government funding to invest in training or new technology.

Some £3m is being made available for SME customs brokers to support the acquisition of software to help them automate customs declarations. Another £2m is on offer – to both brokers and traders – to fund up to half of the cost of training to bring staff up to speed on the requirements of the government’s new Customs Declaration Service. 

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On top of this, an additional £3m has been invested with learning specialist Knowledge Pool, which will work with training providers over the coming weeks to develop and deliver new courses.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride said: “Following extensive engagement with the customs intermediaries sector, we have listened to their concerns about how they will satisfy the extra demand for customs broker services. I’m really pleased we are investing £8m to support the sector and help them expand their capacity as we prepare to leave the EU on 29 March 2019.”

The £5m in grants are available to companies based in the UK, or with at least one branch office in the country. Those wishing to obtain support are encouraged to apply for one or both of the funding streams as soon as possible, as applications close on 5 April – or earlier, if the money runs out before then. 

The grants will be administered on behalf of HMRC by auditor PwC.

Sam Trendall

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