On 11 February the Government announced the launch of a new £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund to support small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in adjusting to the new customs and VAT rules which apply when trading with the EU.
The Fund will provide grants of up to £2,000 per business which can be used to cover:
- training on completing customs declarations, managing customs processes, using customs software or specific import and export related issues such as VAT, excise and rules of origin; or
- professional advice to allow the business to meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.
In order to apply businesses must:
- be established in the UK for at least 12 months, or currently hold Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status;
- have not previously failed to meet any tax or customs obligations;
- have no more than 500 employees;
- have no more than £100m turnover;
- import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU or Northern Ireland; and
- complete or intend to complete import or export declarations internally; or
- use someone else to do this, but require additional capability internally.
Applications for the grants (which will be administered by PwC) can be made online, but are not yet open. More information can be found on GOV.UK.