Guidance

Apply for grants if your business completes customs declarations

Find out what grants you can apply for to get funding for training and IT improvements if your business completes customs declarations.

You can apply for 2 grants to help your business complete customs declarations, in preparation for the UK leaving the EU.

You can apply to get funding for:

  • training that helps your employees to complete customs declarations and processes
  • IT improvements to help your business complete customs declarations more efficiently

Who can apply

You can apply if your business completes customs declarations and is established in, or has a branch in the UK. This includes customs brokers, freight forwarders and fast parcel operators.

You can apply for just one of the grants, or both.

Your business has to meet certain requirements, depending on which grant you want to apply for.

Training grant

To apply for the training grant, your business must either:

  • complete customs declarations for yourself or someone else (or intend to in the future)
  • import from, or export to the EU and complete customs declarations (or intend to complete customs declarations in the future)

IT improvements grant

To apply for the IT improvements grant, your business must:

  • currently complete customs declarations for importers and exporters
  • have 250 employees or fewer
  • have an annual turnover of less than €50 million

What you must use the grants for

Training

The training must give your employees skills to:

The training does not have to lead to a formal qualification.

If you want to arrange the training internally, you can use the funding for the cost of delivering the training, like related stationery, room hire and catering.

If the training will be delivered by an in-house trainer, you can also use the funding to cover the (reasonable) day rate of the trainer.

You cannot use the funding:

  • towards the existing costs of current training
  • for other unrelated training

IT improvements

You must use the funding to buy software that will help your business to complete customs declarations more efficiently.

It must be a ready-made solution - you cannot use the funding to commission bespoke software.

You can also use the funding to:

  • buy hardware that’s needed for the software to run
  • install and configure the software and hardware
  • buy the first year licence
  • train employees to use the software

You cannot use the funding for unrelated networking costs.

Amounts of funding available

Training grant

The grant will give you up to 50% of the cost of training for your employees, up to a limit of £750 for each employee on a course.

You can get up to 60% of training costs, up to a limit of £1,050 for each employee, if your business:

  • employs fewer than 250 people
  • has an annual turnover of less than €50 million

You can get up to 70% of training costs, up to a limit of £1,050 for each employee, if your business:

  • employs fewer than 50 people
  • has an annual turnover (or annual balance sheet total) of less than €10 million

IT improvements

The grant will give you up to €200,000 (the maximum amount of state aid available).

What you’ll need

When you apply, you’ll be asked for your:

  • registered company name and number
  • business’s contact details
  • business’s VAT number (if this applies)
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • business’s most recent utility bill

Depending on which grant you’re applying for, you’ll also need to provide some information about what you’ll use the funding for.

Training grant

You’ll be asked for:

  • a quote for the cost of the training
  • the CV of the trainer if the training will be delivered internally

IT improvements grant

You’ll be asked for:

  • details of the software you intend to buy
  • quotes for the cost of:
    • buying and installing the software
    • buying and installing related hardware
    • training employees to use the software

How to apply

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is administering the grants for HMRC.

After you’ve applied

You’ll be told if you need to provide more information.

If your application is successful you’ll receive a grant offer letter.

After you’ve paid for the training or IT improvements, you’ll need to submit your proof of payment to receive the funding.

The grant will be paid to you within 30 days of your valid claim for reimbursement being accepted. It’ll be paid by Bacs (Bankers Automated Clearing System) to a UK bank account in the name of the person who applied.

Published 22 November 2018
Last updated 4 December 2018 + show all updates
  1. Applications for the grants are now being accepted - the link to apply has been added to this guidance. More information about the amount of funding available, and what information you'll need to apply, has also been added.
  2. First published.