Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, the government announced a £20m fund to provide support for small and medium-sized enterprises adjusting to the changes in importing and exporting. SMEs can apply for up to £2,000 to help cover costs of training and seeking professional advice to help with changes to rules regarding customs, excise, import/export VAT and safety/security declaration requirements.
The government announced the fund in February with HMRC confirming applications can be made online. The closing date is 30th June 2021 however, guidance states that the fund may close early if the £20m runs out before the deadline.
Applications can be made for a training grant, professional grant or both. The amount of funding requested cannot exceed £2,000 per business.
SMEs are being urged to apply sooner rather than later to ensure they do not miss out on the funding.
To be eligible for the grants, businesses must:
- Be established in the UK for at least 12 months or hold Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status
- Have not failed to meet any previous tax or customs obligations
- Have a turnover of no more than £100m
- Employ no more than 500 staff members
- Import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU or Northern Ireland
- Either; complete or intend to complete import or export declarations internally or use a third party to do so, but require additional capability internally
For more information on how to apply, visit the government website.