News article

Brexit: Apply for grants if your business completes customs declarations

10 February 2020


Does your business complete customs declarations? Get HMRC funding for recruitment, training and IT improvements.

You can apply for three grants to help your business complete customs declarations.

Additionally, if you are a customs intermediary, you can get funding for:

  • hiring new staff to help your business complete customs declarations
  • IT improvements to help your business complete customs declarations more efficiently

Who can apply and what you must use the grants for

To apply for the grant, your business must:

  • be established in, or have a branch in the UK when the grant is paid to you
  • not have previously failed to meet its tax obligations – HMRC records will be checked to decide if a business a grant can be offered

You can apply for just one of the grants, or all of them.

1) Recruitment grant
To apply for the recruitment grant, your business must:

  • currently complete customs declarations on behalf of importers and exporters
  • have been established in the UK for at least 12 months

You must use the funding to cover the recruitment and salary costs of new employees from 1 October 2019, who will help your business complete customs declarations.

2) Training grant
To apply for the training grant, your business must either:

  • complete customs declarations for yourself or someone else (or intend to in the future)
  • import from, or export to the EU and complete customs declarations (or intend to complete customs declarations in the future)

The training must give you or your employees the skills to:

  • complete customs declarations
  • carry out customs processes – this can include relevant training in safety and security
  • help other businesses with import and export processes
  • The training does not have to lead to a formal qualification.

You cannot use the funding:

  • towards the existing costs of current training
  • for other unrelated training
  • You can also use the grant to reimburse what your business has spent on relevant training since 31 July 2019.

3) IT improvements grant
To apply for the IT improvements grant, your business must:

  • currently complete customs declarations for importers and exporters
  • have 250 employees or fewer
  • have an annual turnover of less than €50 million

You must use the funding to buy software that will help your business to complete customs declarations more efficiently. It must be a ready-made solution - you cannot use the funding to commission bespoke software.

You can also use the funding to:

  • buy hardware that’s needed for the software to run
  • install and configure the software and hardware
  • buy the first year licence
  • train employees to use the software
  • You cannot use the funding for unrelated networking costs.

You can also use the grant to reimburse what your business has spent on relevant IT improvements since 31 July 2019.

Amounts of funding available

Recruitment grant
The grant will give you £3,000 for each employee.

You could also get up to £10,000 for any employee you recruit before 31 January 2021, to cover up to 3 months’ salary.

You will receive the funding for recruitment costs and 50% of the eligible salary costs upfront. The remaining 50% of salary costs will be paid when the employee has been in post for one month.

Training grant
The grant will give you up to 100 per cent of the cost of training for your employees, up to a limit of £2,250 for each course.

It will also cover the cost of training you run internally, up to a limit of £250 for each employee on the course.

IT improvements
The grant will give you 100% of the costs relating to your IT expenditure to improve the efficiency of making customs declarations.

How to apply

Applications will close on 31 January 2021, or earlier if funding is fully allocated.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is administering the grants for HMRC. Apply online for HMRC customs support funding.