Businesses are being urged to apply for large grants to help complete customs declarations.
Offered by HMRC, there are three grants available designed to help the recruitment, IT and technical requirements that companies will face when completing customs declarations and processes.
There is also funding available for customs intermediaries for the hiring of new staff and IT improvements too.
Here’s all the information on the gov.uk website.
What the grants are for
The three grants cover recruitment, training and IT improvements. Core businesses requirements are that you are established in or have a branch in the UK when the grant is paid, and that you’ve not previously failed to meet tax obligations (for which HMRC will check).
Businesses can only apply for one of the three grants available, too.
The recruitment grant is available to businesses that have been established in the UK for at least 12 months and currently complete customs declarations on behalf of importers and exporters.
The funding must be used to cover recruitment and salary costs of new employees from October last year where those employees are in a role designed to assist with the completion of declaration forms.
The grant affords up to £3,000 per employee, up to £10,000 for any employee recruited before 31st January 2021 (to cover the first-quarter salary) and also 50% reimbursement on recruiter fees.
The training grant is available to businesses which import from or export to the EU and either currently or intent to complete customs declarations.
The grant can be used to cover upskilling employees in areas such as completing customs declarations, carrying out customs processes including relevant training in safety and security, as well as other import and export processes.
The grant can be used to either support the costs of in-house or external training but cannot be used to fund the cost of existing training programs.
The grant available for training is up to 100% of the cost to the employer, limited at £2,250 per course or £250 per employee for in-house training.
IT improvements grant
The IT improvements grant is available to businesses with fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than £50 million – which are currently completing customs declarations for imports and/or exports.
It’s designed to help cover the cost of funding software purchases but that software must be an off-the-shelf solution and not be used to part-fund a self-built program.
The grant can also be used to reimburse former expenses on relevant IT improvements since 31st July last year and covers areas such as additional hardware for the customs software to run on, installation and configuration costs, one-year’s license fee of the software and staff training.
Learn more and apply to the Customs Grant Scheme, which has been extended until 31st January next year, here.