The British International Freight Association has welcomed news of an £8 million government funding scheme to support customs intermediaries and traders completing customs declarations, aiming to support training and the upgrade of IT systems associated with the UK’s departure from the EU.
The grant will provide funding for up to 50 per cent of the cost of training staff and includes HMRC providing an investment of £3 million to fund increasing training capacity.
“During our meetings with both HM Treasury and HMRC, BIFA highlighted the concerns of our members regarding the capability of the Customs brokerage sector to increase capacity, at a time when that sector already faces a shortage of staff of suitable quality,” said BIFA director general Robert Keen.
“We emphasised that it could take up to a year to train staff to be fully conversant to prepare a range of basic Customs declarations, even if there was a sufficient number of trainers to train those staff, as well as relevant courses for them to attend. So, the news of this funding is very welcome.”
Applications will close on 5 April 2019, or earlier once all the funding is allocated.