£16m funding boost to support businesses post-Brexit

Thousands of customs experts will be trained and businesses supported for trading post-Brexit with thanks to £16m in new government funding launching today.

This new government funding is now available to help businesses train staff in making customs declarations, and to help businesses who support others to trade goods to invest in IT. This will ensure that trade with the EU continues as smoothly as possible after Brexit on 31 October.

Customs agents currently help businesses who trade outside the EU. This funding will help increase the capacity of the sector as businesses trading with the EU consider whether to get an expert to complete customs documentation for them after Brexit. Ministers have been determined to support the industry in both training up more staff and becoming more efficient, in order to ensure that we are fully ready for leaving the EU on 31 October, whatever the circumstances.

More than 3,000 agents have already been trained as part of an £8m investment earlier this year, which has also been used to develop new online learning products for customs staff such as an electronic learning package and a new UK Customs Academy, launched on 12 August.

This second wave of government grants launching today will go further, with the additional £16m to be invested to help ensure businesses have all the support they need to get ready for Brexit.

Businesses based in, or with a branch in, the UK can apply for funding ahead of the UK leaving the EU. Grants can be used to support training costs for businesses who complete customs declarations, or who intend to in the future.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman MP said: “Brexit takes place on 31 October and we urge all businesses to make the necessary preparations to be fully ready. The government has doubled the support available, so that thousands more customs experts are on hand to help businesses on and after Brexit day.”