The next phase of the customs grant scheme is now open for applications. It sees a record £50 million investment as part of the measures to accelerate growth of the customs intermediary sector and help meet the increased demand it will see from traders at the end of the transition period.
Customs intermediaries – including customs brokers, freight forwarders and express parcel operators – as well as traders who complete their own declarations, are among those who can now apply for grant funding to support with recruitment, training and IT to handle customs declarations.
To date, HMRC has made a total investment of £34 million available to support the sector, which has supported more than 20,000 training courses, nearly 15,000 units of IT and the recruitment of almost 600 new customs agents.
The grant can cover salary costs for new or redeployed staff, up to a limit of £12,000 per person and £3,000 for recruitment costs for new employees. This will help them to recruit new staff and train them up ahead of July 2021, when all traders moving goods will have to make declarations.
The grant scheme will continue to offer financial support for training costs to upskill staff and for IT that will allow greater efficiency. The grant for IT will cover expenses for increasing capacity or productivity for customs declarations, customs software, set-up costs, and related hardware.
Grants will be issued on a first come, first served basis. Applications will close on 30 June 2021, or earlier if all funding is allocated. The grant scheme is administered by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of HMRC. For more information on the scheme and how to apply, please read the guidance on GOV.UK