UPDATED: Small businesses that only trade with the EU can now apply for a £2,000 grant through the SME Brexit Support Fund for help with importing and exporting.
This comes after a new timetable for introducing import border control processes was put in place, enabling UK businesses to focus on recovery. Full import border control processes will now be introduced on January 1 2022, six months later than originally planned.
Mike Cherry, national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The vast majority of UK small firms that do business overseas trade with the EU. Not only are they trying to stay afloat as lockdowns gradually ease, they now have new, unfamiliar paperwork and costs to navigate when they buy from, or sell to, Europe.
“We encourage all eligible small businesses to take a look and apply for this new source of help.”
What can I use the SME Brexit Support Fund for?
Recipients can use the grant for training on:
- How to complete customs declarations
- How to manage customs processes and use customs software
- Specific import and export-related aspects including excise, VAT and rules of origin
Business West is providing export training courses over the next few months. Visit the Business West website to find out more and apply.
It can also be used to get professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise and income VAT requirements or your safety and security obligations.
Will I able to apply?
To be eligible to apply, your business must:
- Be established in the UK
- Have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before starting the application, or you currently hold Authorised Economic Operator status
- Not have previously failed to meet tax or customs obligations
- Have no more than 500 employees
- Have no more than £1m turnover
- Import or export goods between UK and EU or move goods between Britain and Northern Ireland
In addition, your business must also either:
- Complete (or intend to complete) import or export declarations internally for own goods
- Use someone else to complete import or export declarations but needs additional capability internally to effectively import or export (such as advice or rules of origin or advice on managing supply chain)
How do I apply for the SME Brexit Support Fund?
Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PwC) are administering the grant, which will close on June 30 2021. It may close earlier if allocated funding is distributed before this date.
The Brexit Checker Tool on GOV.UK also gives businesses a personalised list of actions that they need to take.