Small and medium-sized businesses trading with EU-based companies can now apply for SME Brexit Support Fund grants. The grants of up to £2,000 are aimed at helping SMEs adapt to new customs and tax rules.
It was introduced to help UK businesses focus on their recovery after the government introduced new import border control processes following Brexit.
Full import border control processes will be introduced on 1 January 2022, six months later than originally planned.
Applications for the grant started last month. Businesses can use the fund to access practical support and training for new customs obligations.
Brexit Support Fund eligibility
To be eligible, businesses must import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Your business must have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before submitting the application. Businesses must have met all previous tax or customs obligations to access the fund.
To qualify, businesses must have an annual turnover of less than £100 million and fewer than 500 employees.
How grants can be used
The Brexit Support Fund grant can be used for training or professional advice for issues relating to trading with EU. These include:
- How to complete customs declarations.
- How to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems.
- Specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin.
- Professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.
How to apply
Business owners must apply for the grant themselves, they cannot ask their accountants to do so. You need to demonstrate that you are new to importing/exporting processes and must be UK-based.
Applications close on 30 June 2021 or earlier if all funding is allocated before this date.
A third party is administering the grants, so to apply visit the official website.