This week saw the launch of the £20m SME Brexit Support Fund, giving small- and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to apply for grants of up to £2,000 to help them adapt to new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU.
To be eligible, businesses must import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. They must have fewer than 500 employees and no more than £100m annual turnover.
The grant can be used for training on:
- how to complete customs declarations
- how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems
- specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise, and rules of origin
It can also be used to help get professional advice so that businesses can meet their customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.
A new timetable for introducing import border control processes has been introduced with full import border control processes now being introduced on 1 January 2022, six months later than originally planned.
For further information about the fund, eligibility criteria, and how to apply, click here.
Other support for businesses
In addition to this fund, there are several support services being offered by the government:
- Helplines which businesses can contact if they need further information including a dedicated HMRC imports and exports enquiry service which is available via phone on 0300 322 9434 or via online webchat
- Regular webinars with policy specialists
- The Brexit Checker Tool on GOV.UK which gives businesses a personalised list of actions that they need to take.