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New measures to support customs intermediaries

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HMRC has unveiled a new package of measures to accelerate growth of the UK’s customs intermediary sector, including customs brokers, freight forwarders and express parcel operators

Summary

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On 12 June 2020, the government announced that the transition period for the UK’s exit from the EU will not be extended and controls for importing goods will apply from July 2021.  In order to accelerate growth of the UK’s customs intermediary sector, HMRC has introduced a new package of measures, including plans for an additional £50m grant funding, for customs agent recruitment, training and IT, adapting the rules around financial liability for intermediaries taking on extra clients and the creation of new opportunities as the industry grows.  Applications for the new funding will be open from July 2020.

Further detail

The intermediary sector, including customs brokers, freight forwarders and express parcel operators, help businesses to import and export their goods by ensuring the necessary customs paperwork has been completed.

By injecting a proposed £50m, to support businesses in the customs intermediary sector with recruitment, training and supplying IT equipment to handle customs declarations, the government intends to remove barriers for intermediaries taking on extra clients by adapting the rules around financial liability. 

In total, the government has now made available £84m to grow the customs intermediary sector, in preparation for EU trade after 2020.  At the moment, agents cover non-EU trade, though many, like parcel companies, do operate in the EU market.  

The previous £34m in grant funding, supported more than 20,000 training courses being undertaken and the purchase of around 15,000 pieces of IT equipment and software. 

The additional funding is one part of proposed measures to support the customs intermediary sector in meeting the increased demand it will see from traders at the end of the transition period.  The government also intends to change rules removing the financial liability from intermediaries operating on behalf of their clients and allow parcel operators to continue declaring multiple consignments in a single customs declaration.  This will help intermediaries increase their operations.

Applications for the new funding will be open from July and HMRC will publish more details at a later date. 

This is welcome news and businesses should consider applying for the grants, where applicable.  Click he below button to be redirected to the relevant website: 

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Posted in Blog, Transport & logistics

Sean Turner

Senior VAT Manager

Sean Turner is a VAT Senior Manager based in Menzies London Central office supporting SME businesses with their VAT and corporate tax issues.