UK: Brexit-related grants available for customs training, IT improvements, new staff

February 12, 2020

The UK is currently in a Brexit transition period that is scheduled to end 31 December 2020. Beginning 1 January 2021, it appears that regardless of what trade deal may be reached between the UK and the EU, customs declarations will be required at the UK EU border (that is, the border of the remaining 27 EU Member States).

In late 2018, the UK government announced a plan for, and later, the availability of funding for training and IT improvements—ostensibly aimed at the intermediary/broker sector—but also available (in terms of funding for training) to importers/exporters. Over time, the funding has been extended to costs for hiring new staff—again within the intermediary/broker sector.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on 11 February 2020 announced an extension of the deadline to claim funding—extended from 31 January 2020 to 31 January 2021—and also that £7.5 million (of a total budget of £26 million) is still available to claim. Accordingly, some financial help is still available.

To be eligible for the funding, there are certain criteria and conditions that must be satisfied, as well as successful completion of the application process. Grants are being issued by HMRC on a first-come first-served basis, and there is no guarantee that an application will result in funding—in particular when the funding allocation is exhausted. Although the deadline has been extended, the funds are still limited. 

KPMG observation  

To prepare for the anticipated changes, companies need to develop a “customs awareness”—that is, an understanding of the key customs and compliance considerations, with special attention regarding:

  • Key data elements on import and export declarations
  • Tariff classifications
  • Origin
  • Customs valuation
  • Incoterms

Other practical guidance on customs compliance considerations include an understanding of:

  • Freight agent instructions
  • Management controls
  • Post-declaration testing
  • Customs reliefs and authorisations


KPMG Trade & Customs professionals can provide more details.

Rebecca Okuda | +44 207 3118733 |


For more information on this topic or to learn more about KPMG’s Trade & Customs Services, contact:

Doug Zuvich
Partner and Global Practice Leader
T: 312-665-1022

John L. McLoughlin
Principal and East Coast Leader
T: 267-256-2614

Andy Siciliano
Partner and National Practice Leader
T: 631-425-6057

Steve Brotherton
Principal and Global Export and Sanctions Leader
T: 415-963-7861

Luis (Lou) Abad
Principal, Washington National Tax
T: 212-954-3094

Irina Vaysfeld
T: 212-872-2973

Amie Ahanchian
T: 202-533-3247

Christopher Young
T: 312-665-3229

Gisele Belotto
Managing Director
T: 305-913-2779

George Zaharatos
T: 404-222-3292

Andy Doornaert
Managing Director
T: 313-230-3080

Jessica Libby
Managing Director
T: 612-305-5533


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