The British International Freight Association (BIFA) is alerting its members to a looming deadline by which they can apply for funding from the Government’s £5 million grant scheme opened in December 2018, as part of an £8 million investment to support training and automation in the customs intermediaries sector.
Robert Keen, director general of BIFA, the trade association for UK freight forwarding and logistics companies, warns: “Applicants only have until 31 May 2019 to apply for funding towards training courses that help them to complete customs declarations, or the upgrade of IT systems.
“HMRC would particularly like to encourage applications for the training grants. These are available to intermediaries and traders completing customs declarations or intending to complete customs declarations in the future.”
BIFA says the training grant could be used to support a business that is extending and taking on new staff, or to help train an existing employee to start completing customs declarations for the company. Training can be delivered by an external provider, or an in-house trainer.
It adds that the grant can also be used towards the cost of the new modular customs declarations training course which was launched in March as part of the Government’s wider investment in the sector.
The scheme is intended to help support the extra demand for customs brokerage services associated with the UK’s departure from the EU and Keen adds: “Increased capacity in this sector will be important whatever our future relationship with the EU.”
More information on how businesses can apply, and a link to the online application page are available at https://www.gov.uk
Interested businesses are encouraged to register on the grant application page no later than Friday 24th May to allow time to complete their application by the deadline.