Whatever your opinion on Brexit, unfortunately it appears to be happening, by hook or by crook!

As businesses, we should all make plans for 31st October, otherwise chaos will reign throughout the land.

In an effort to assist businesses with the technical aspects of imports and exports, the government has now created a fund to support businesses with IT and staff training. If Brexit goes ahead, the same customs rules which currently apply to non-EU imports and exports, will also apply to EU imports and exports.

The UK government are therefore investing a further £16 million into its grant programme to fund training and IT improvements for customs intermediaries, traders and hauliers that make customs declarations.

Businesses based in, or with a branch in the UK can apply for one or both grants.  Applications will close on 31st January 2020.

Businesses based in, or with a branch in the UK can apply for one or both grants.  Applications will close on 31st January 2020.

Training

The training grant provides funds to train employees who will need to complete customs declarations in the UK or EU and manage customs software and systems.
There are caps to the amount of funding you can receive:

  • External training – capped at £2,250 per employee – this amount includes costs charged by the external training provider, materials and supplies (if not provided by the training provider) and travel and subsistence costs related to the training.
  • Internal training – capped at £250 per employee – this amount included trainer personnel costs, materials and supplies, travel and subsistence costs of the trainer.

VAT registered businesses will be paid the net value of their expenditure, non-VAT registered businesses will be paid gross value.
Qualifying expenditure must be made on or after 31st July 2019 and full evidence must be provided.

IT Improvements

The IT funding is available to existing customs intermediaries who currently complete customs declarations on behalf of importers or exporters, or those who wish to start offering this service to their customers.
To be eligible, businesses must not have more than 250 employees, and have an annual turnover of less than €50million, or a balance sheet total of less than €43million.

The funding can be used for:

  • Purchasing the first-year license of a software solution to increase productivity with dealing with customs declarations
  • Buying hardware for the software
  • Installation
  • Software related training

Exclusions

  • Purchases not related to customs function improvements
  • Bespoke software packages
  • Network costs

The grant will give you up to €200,000 (the maximum amount of state aid available).

Qualifying expenditure must have been made after 31st July 2019.

For full details or to apply go to: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/grants-for-businesses-that-complete-customs-declarations

We strongly advise you to seek appropriate advice before taking action on any of the points listed above.
All information contained in this document are correct at the time of writing.  Legislation and regulations may change at any time.
If you are in any doubt, please call us for clarification.
About us:  Leggate Associates Limited was formed by Andrew Leggate LL.B FCMA FCA CGMA who has over 35 years of tax and accountancy experience in industry and practice, and the practice is managed by Joanne Leggate FMAAT ATT.  Our clients range from building subcontractors to multi-million pound concerns and high net worth individuals all over the UK.  Please see our website www.leggateassociates.co.uk or follow @LeggateAssoc on Twitter for occasional updates.
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