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We have changed the customs grant scheme to allow more people to access the funding and help ensure they are ready to trade with the EU after the transition period ends.
Customs intermediaries – including customs brokers, freight forwarders and express parcel operators – as well as traders who complete their own declarations, are among those who may benefit from the new co-funded training project under General Block Exemption Regulations (GBER). Through the co-funded training project grant, organisations can receive up to 2 million euros where they co-invest as well.
We are also now allowing traders who are new to customs to apply for grants of up to £1,000 per organisation to support the cost of basic customs training. This will help traders understand what is involved in making customs declarations and can help them prepare for when they speak to an intermediary.
Another change HMRC has introduced to the customs grant scheme is that businesses with Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status who have had a base in the UK for less than 12 months can also now access the grant scheme. This will encourage new entrants to the intermediary market.
The current phase of the customs grant scheme opened for applications on 29 July with 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 from 1 January 2021.
Grants will be issued on a first come, first served basis and applications will close on 30 June 2021, or earlier if all funding is allocated. Applications for the co-funded training project, trader training and for AEO businesses opened on 16 November 2020. For more information on the scheme and how to apply, please read the guidance on GOV.UK.