The UK government is to extend the deadline for businesses to apply for funding towards training courses that help them to complete customs declarations to May 31 2019.
The British International Freight Association has welcomed this news. The funding was initially revealed in December 2018. Grants are being made available for all customs intermediaries and traders completing customs declarations as a means of supporting training and the upgrade of IT systems.
“This scheme is intended to help support the extra demand for customs brokerage services associated with the UK’s departure from the EU, as well as issues associated with the replacement of the current system used to process customs entries,” said BIFA director general Robert Keen.
He noted that BIFA has highlighted concerns to the HM Treasury and HMRC 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 and 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 an extension to the deadline for this funding is very welcome, and we are encouraging our members who believe they might benefit to apply; if they have not done so already.”
More information and grant applications can be found at: https://www.gov.uk