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Grant funding announced to support businesses trading with the EU

Last week the Government revealed a new £20 million ‘SME Brexit Support Fund’ designed to help small businesses with changes to trade rules with the EU post-Brexit.  Whilst not solely relating to VAT, the recently announced Fund will provide grants of up to £2,000 to eligible businesses for the purposes of obtaining professional advice, including VAT Training.  Eligible businesses are those who import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The fund, which opens for applications in March 2021, will be administered through the pre-existing Customs Grant Scheme, in order to help businesses prepare for the new import controls that come into force in April and July as detailed in the Border Operating Model

What can the grant be used for?

The grant can be used to help businesses secure professional advice in order to meet its import VAT, customs and excise, or safety and security declaration requirements, including:

  • Specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin
  • How to complete customs declarations
  • How to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems.

Who will be able to apply?

In order to qualify for the grant, businesses must:

  • Be established in the UK
  • Have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before submitting the application, or currently hold Authorised Economic Operator status
  • Not have previously failed to meet its tax or customs obligations
  • Have no more than 500 employees
  • Have no more than £100 million turnover
  • Import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or moves goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Businesses must also either:

  • Complete or intend to complete import or export declarations internally for its own goods
  • Use someone else to complete import or export declarations but requires additional capability internally to effectively import or export.

You can read more about VAT and Brexit here.

If we can assist you with your VAT training requirements please do not hesitate to contact Alison Birch.

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