According to the Times, businesses are being asked to jump through too many red tape hoops when applying for the Brexit grant.
Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, launched the Brexit Support Fund in March, accepting that businesses needed support to “adjust” to the new import controls, which will be fully introduced on July 1.
A spokesman put the lower than expected take-up of the scheme, which is open to applications until the end of this month, to the complexity of the process, which is being administered by accountants PwC.
“It has not been as clear and as quick as people had hoped. We are not seeing take-up on the level we would anticipate, given the interest,” the institute told the newspaper.
Liam Smyth, its director of trade facilitation, told the Times: “Applications for the scheme were initially high but the numbers fell when it became clear how many hoops businesses would need to jump through. Business owners and directors found themselves struggling with the system, all for only £2,000, and many decided it was simply too difficult.”
Recipients can use the grant for training on:
- How to complete customs declarations
- How to manage customs processes and use customs software
- Specific import and export-related aspects including excise, VAT and rules of origin
Will I able to apply?
To be eligible to apply, your business must:
- Be established in the UK
- Have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before starting the application, or you currently hold Authorised Economic Operator status
- Not have previously failed to meet tax or customs obligations
- Have no more than 500 employees
- Have no more than £1m turnover
- Import or export goods between UK and EU or move goods between Britain and Northern Ireland
In addition, your business must also either:
- Complete (or intend to complete) import or export declarations internally for own goods
- Use someone else to complete import or export declarations but needs additional capability internally to effectively import or export (such as advice or rules of origin or advice on managing supply chain)
Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PwC) is administering the grant, which will close on June 30 2021. It may close earlier if allocated funding is distributed before this date.
Apply for the grant here.
The Brexit Checker Tool on GOV.UK also gives businesses a personalised list of actions that they need to take.
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