Many UK companies will have to implement or enhance customs operations in order to be in compliance with the UK Border Operating Model for trade with the EU when Brexit takes place on January 1, 2021. In recognition of this potential financial hardship, HMRC has enhanced its Customs Grant Scheme, making an additional £50 million in grant money available to organisations to reimburse costs associated with increasing their capacity and ability to complete customs declarations.
Companies that have been established in the UK for at least 12 months and have met their tax obligations in the past are eligible to apply for three different types of grants to cover costs associated with new customs procedures:
Recruitment to take on the burden of customs procedures previously unnecessary as part of the EU. These costs may include recruitment expenses as well as salaries for both new hires and resources who are redeployed from other parts of the organisation. Grant money will fund up to £3,000 per employee for external recruitment and £12,000 per employee for salary expenses.
Training of staff on customs processes and how to properly complete customs declarations. Grant money will fund 100% of employee training costs up to £1,500 per employee.
IT Improvements that will add efficiency to the customs declaration process. These costs may include established software solutions (no bespoke development), installation and configuration, first-year licensing, and employee training on the software. Grant money will fund 100% of these IT improvement costs.
All of these costs are retroactive to efforts made since June 12, 2020.
Gain the Competitive Edge from the Very Beginning
Forward-thinking companies can apply their customs grants to adopt end-to-end customs automation software rather than hiring and training staff on manual processes that will require dedicated resources for years to come. This Customs Grant Scheme makes onboarding, first-year licensing, and employee training on CAS, C4T’s automated solution for customs declarations, available to UK importers and exporters at absolutely no cost. What’s more, efficiencies gained by implementing CAS, including reduced resources and no need to work with customs brokers, will more than pay for CAS licensing in future years.
Applications for the UK’s Customs Grant Scheme are being administered by PricewaterhouseCoopers and will max out at 200,000 euros, so it is encouraged that UK importers and exporters apply as soon as possible. The scheme closes for applications on June 30, 2021, or earlier if funding is fully allocated. Grants will be issued on a first come, first served basis. C4T is happy to work with you to ensure you meet the obligations in your grant offer letter for maximum reimbursement.