HMRC has unveiled a £16m funding programme to help British businesses train staff to cope with new customs regulations in post-Brexit Britain.The new funding is available now to help businesses train staff in making customs declarations, and to help businesses who support others to trade goods to invest in IT.

Customs agents currently help businesses who trade outside the EU. HMRC says the new funding will help increase the capacity of the sector as businesses trading with the EU consider whether to get an expert to complete customs documentation for them after Brexit.

More than 3,000 agents have already been trained as part of an £8 million investment earlier this year, which has also been used to develop new online learning products for customs staff, including a new UK Customs Academy, launched on 12 August.

Businesses based in, or with a branch in, the UK can apply for funding ahead of the UK leaving the EU. Grants can be used to support:

  • training costs for businesses who complete customs declarations, or who intend to in the future
  • funding for IT improvement, which is available to small and medium sized employers who are currently involved in trade as an intermediary

This second wave of the grant scheme allows businesses to apply for the full cost of training, within limits set out in the HMRC guidance document.