A new scheme that supports small and medium-sized businesses with a grant of up to £2,000 has opened.
The scheme provides grants to help tackle the new admin requirements for imports and exports to and from EU countries, as well as elsewhere in the world, or the movement of goods between GB and Northern Ireland.
The grant can be used for training on how to complete customs declarations, how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems or specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin.
It can also be used to help businesses access professional advice, including support from their accountant, so that they can meet the customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.
Firms can apply for a grant if the business has been established in the UK for at least 12 months or holds Authorised Economic Operator status and has always met its tax or customs obligations. To be eligible, the company must have no more than 550 staff and an annual turnover under £100 million.
The fund applies if the business:
- Exports goods between GB and the EU, or moves goods between GB and Northern Ireland;
- Intends to complete import or export declarations internally for its own goods; or
- Requires more capability to cope with imports or exports despite using the services of someone else to complete the declaration documents.
A business must also either:
- Complete (or intend to complete) import or export declarations internally for its own goods; or
- Use someone else to complete import or export declarations but requires additional capability internally to effectively import or export (such as advice on rules of origin or advice on dealing with a supply chain).
A spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The vast majority of UK small firms that do business overseas trade with the EU. Not only are they trying to stay afloat as lockdowns gradually ease, they now have new, unfamiliar paperwork and costs to navigate when they buy from, or sell to, Europe.
“We encourage all eligible small businesses to take a look and apply for this new source of help.”
Applications will close on 30 June 2021 or earlier if all funding is allocated before this date. To apply for funding, please click here.