Customs intermediaries can apply for £50 million of new funding, first announced in June 2020, to increase their capacity to make declarations ahead of 2021.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which is running the scheme, is encouraging customs intermediaries and traders who make their own declarations to take advantage of the funding now.
After the transition period ends, intermediaries, such as brokers, freight forwarders and express parcel operators, will play a critical role for businesses, and the government wants to create conditions for a diverse market.
HMRC had already made up to £34 million available to bolster the intermediary sector, which was used very quickly.
In total, the government has now made available £84 million to grow the customs intermediary sector to encompass EU trade after 2020. At the moment, agents cover non-EU trade though many, like parcel companies, do operate in the EU market.
As well as injecting £50 million to support businesses with recruitment, training and supplying IT equipment to handle customs declarations, the government also intends to change rules which will remove the financial liability from intermediaries operating on behalf of their clients, plus allow parcel operators to continue declaring multiple consignments in a single customs declaration.
For full details of criteria and how to apply please read the guidance on GOV.UK here