Small and medium-sized businesses who trade in goods with the European Union are being urged to apply for newly-announced funding to ensure they can continue trading effectively now that the UK has left the Single Market and Customs Union.
The Government’s new SME Brexit Support Fund provides an opportunity for businesses to address challenges posed by complex new trade processes and thrive in the post-Brexit world.
From March, businesses will be able to apply for up to £2,000 from the £20m fund - set up to enable businesses to prepare for significant new import controls which will be introduced by July - to cover the costs of training or advice.
Although a deal was agreed between the UK and the EU, this doesn’t avoid the additional complexities and costs of moving goods across borders. In reality, the situation is more complex than a “no deal” outcome, as businesses need to understand and apply complex Rules of Origin in order to trade Duty-free with the EU.
Businesses are also expected to navigate the raft of costly and time consuming declarations which must be filed correctly and on time in order to move goods smoothly and avoid penalties.
For those businesses that have never had to deal with these complex issues before, this announcement is hugely significant and will provide vital funding to get the professional help they need to interpret and implement the rules.
UK businesses importing or exporting goods to and from the EU, or moving goods between the UK and Northern Ireland, with up to 500 employees and no more than £100m annual turnover are eligible to apply.
The grants can be used to fund advice around completing customs declarations; managing customs processes; using customs software; exploring Duty reliefs and analysing the all-important new rules of origin.
In advance of the UK leaving the EU, we provided specific training to many clients on what the changes meant for them, and how they could mitigate any challenges and costs as far as possible, including managing the funding application process for interested parties. This was extremely well received, and this new tranche of funding represents a great opportunity for businesses to access the next level of support and explore, in practical terms, how best to organise their operations and supply chains to address the new challenges and thrive in the post-Brexit world.
If you are looking for advice, our dedicated team of Indirect Tax experts can provide advice and practical support to help your business adjust to the new processes.
Visit our new Brexit Hub for further information and advice to support your business.