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Deadline extended for UK Government Customs training grants

31 January 2021 is the new deadline for the Customs training grant scheme. £7.5 million of Government funding remains from the original budget and must be used.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have identified the potential strain on businesses, Customs agents and freight forwarders to submit Customs declarations in a post-Brexit scenario. This funding has been provided to help entities prepare for the increased number of customs declarations they will handle and build the essential knowledge required to deal with Customs requirements and ensure compliance.

As a result, HMRC have allocated grant funding to businesses for the following three areas:

  • Training (to increase knowledge so that they would consider completing declarations)
  • IT improvements (Purchase software / systems in order to facilitate Customs processes – currently aimed at businesses making declarations for others)
  • Recruitment (specifically for freight forwarders and Customs agents – to help submit more declarations)

PKF Francis Clark is at the frontline of providing not only VAT & Customs advisory services, but also delivering this Customs training – we currently have six badged Customs specialists within our VAT & Customs team and provide the VAT & Customs Advice Line support to British Marine members.

As the year goes on and we head closer to a ‘proper’ Brexit, businesses really need to be better prepared, not to mention the lack of Customs awareness regarding existing trade with third countries.

We have the expertise to provide training in the core Customs areas that would assist businesses in understanding their obligations. Having met the eligibility criteria, many of our clients are taking this opportunity to apply for funding to up-skill their relevant personnel. Eligibility is met despite the fact that you may use a third party to complete the declarations.

We have developed the following core training sessions which can be supplemented to add a bespoke touch for your business:

  • Classification
  • Rules of origin
  • Import Procedures
  • Export Procedures
  • Customs Documentation
  • Valuation
  • Export Licences

To qualify for the grant funding the business needs to take the following steps:

  • Create an account on the grant funding website – (you will need to register by 31 January 2021, however we recommend you apply ASAP to make sure you qualify)
  • Apply for the training grant by submitting the quote we provide (must be before the 31 January 2021)
  • If accepted, the grant offer will be made (which should agree to the quote)
  • The training must be paid for and evidenced within two months of receiving the grant offer (usually by providing a copy of a redacted bank statement and the invoice)
  • The training must be completed within six months of when the training was paid for by the applicant

What are the available funding limits?

The cap per trainee per training course is £2,250.

Should eligible training costs exceed that amount, grant support will be limited to £2,250 per trainee per training session. (each of our sessions is considered separate and it is not expected that this limit would be breached).

You can apply for funding for up to 100% of the cost of training, provided you can confirm this would not increase the amount of de-minimis state aid received above the €200,000 threshold. De-minimis aid is defined in the EU Commissions Regulation No 1407/2013.

Further information can be found here:

https://www.customsintermediarygrant.co.uk/how-do-i-applasdy

https://www.customsintermediarygrant.co.uk/downloadable-content

If you wish to discuss applying for the grant funding or relevant training needs please contact the Marine and Customs Teams at PKF Francis Clark – for marine email BM@pkf-francisclark.co.uk and for customs, please email customsadvice@pkf-francisclark.co.uk.

The scheme is administered by PWC and is on a first come, first served basis. We recommend that you apply today, to avoid missing out. 

FEATURING: Simon Anslow
Simon heads up our eastern region VAT team and is responsible for dealing with VAT and indirect tax issues, from basic compliance and efficiency management,… read more
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