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UK Government pays for customs training

Published on: 13 February 2020


British Marine would like to make members aware that the deadline for customs training grants has been extended until 31 January 2021, Government funding of £7.5 million remains from the original budget and must be consumed.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have identified the potential strain on businesses, customs agents and freight forwarders to submit customs declarations in a post-Brexit scenario. They have provided this funding to help entities gear up for the increased number of customs declarations they will handle and build the essential knowledge required to deal with custom’s requirements and ensure compliance.

As a result HMRC have allocated grant funding to businesses for three different areas:

  • Training to increase knowledge so that they would consider completing declarations
  • IT improvements including purchase software / systems in order to facilitate customs processes currently aimed at businesses making declarations for others
  • Recruitment specifically for freight forwarders and customs agents to help submit more declarations

PKF Francis Clark, British Marine’s VAT specialists, has the expertise to provide training in the core customs areas that would assist businesses in understanding their obligations. Having met the eligibility criteria, many of its clients are taking this opportunity to apply for funding to upskill their relevant personnel. Eligibility is met despite the fact that you may use a third party to complete the declarations.

PKF Frances Clark has developed the following core training sessions which can be supplemented to add a bespoke touch for your business:

  • Classification
  • Rules of origin
  • Import Procedures
  • Export Procedures
  • Customs Documentation
  • Valuation
  • Export Licences

To qualify for the grant funding the business needs to take the following steps:

  1. Create an account on the grant funding website here, you will need to register by 31 January 2021 however we recommend you apply ASAP to make sure you qualify
  2. Apply for the training grant by submitting the quote we provide must be before the 31 January 2021
  3. If accepted, the grant offer will be made which should agree to the quote
  4. The training must be paid for and evidenced within 2 months of receiving the grant offer usually by providing a copy of a redacted bank statement and the invoice
  5. The training must be completed within 6 months of when the training was paid for by the applicant

What are the available funding limits?
The cap per trainee per training course is £2,250. Should eligible training costs exceed that amount, grant support will be limited to £2,250 per trainee per training session. Each of the sessions are considered separate and it is not expected that this limit would be breached.

You can apply for funding for up to 100% of the cost of training, provided you can confirm this would not increase the amount of de-minimis state aid received above the €200,000 threshold. De-minimis aid is defined in the EU Commissions Regulation No 1407/2013.

Further information can be found from the following rel="noopener noreferrer" links:

If you wish to discuss applying for the grant funding or relevant training needs, please contact the Marine and Customs Teams at PKF Francis Clark on

The scheme is administered by PWC on a first come first served basis, so don’t delay – apply today.