BIFA welcomes latest round of customs declaration funding

By Damian Brett

Robert Keen, BIFA director general

Customs intermediaries based in the UK can apply for £50m of new funding to help expand declaration capacity ahead of the ending of the Brexit transition period.

At the end of the year, the UK’s transition period for leaving the European Union will come to end, meaning customs formalities and controls will apply to goods being transported to and from the European Union.

This will result in the need for increased customs declaration capacity.

The move to add extra funding was welcomed by UK forwarder association BIFA.

Director general Robert Keen said: “Whilst we welcome the additional funding, as we did when the first two rounds of funding were announced, we can only keep our fingers crossed that it produces the thousands of additional customs experts that the government agrees will be needed come January 1 2021.

“Along with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which is running the scheme, we will be encouraging our members to take advantage of the funding, which could be used to support a business that is extending and taking on new staff, or to help train an existing employee to become competent in completing customs declarations.”

BIFA pointed out that even furloughed workers can be trained.

“Government guidance allows furloughed employees to engage in training, provided that whilst undertaking the training the employee does not provide service to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation,” Keen added.

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