As part of the UK government’s new SME Brexit Support Fund, smaller businesses can now apply for grants of up to £2,000 to “help them adapt to new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU”.
The £20m support package – which was first announced back in February by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove – enables “traders to access practical support, including training for new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes”.
To be eligible, businesses must import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
This follows the government setting out a new timetable for introducing import border control processes to “enable UK businesses to focus on their recovery”. Full import border control processes will now be introduced on 1 January 2022, six months later than originally planned.
The government began taking applications for grants on 15 March, with officials encouraging small and medium sized businesses that trade solely with the EU and are new to importing and exporting processes to “apply for the grants”.
Jon Geldart, director-general, Institute of Directors, said: “Smaller firms have long needed assistance with managing the host of new requirements that come with changing our EU trading arrangements, and that need has only grown in the current adjustment phase.
“This is why the Institute of Directors has campaigned for so long to help companies with the cost of accessing the professional advice they need, and we commend the government for stepping in to do so.”