Thursday, May 16, 2019

Freight Forwarding and Logistics Association Warns of Looming Deadline for Training Grants

Customs Funding Window Closes This Month
Shipping News Feature
UK – Even mentioning Brexit may have now become so irritating to anyone in the country that they might well 'switch off' when the word is mentioned, but today comes a timely reminder from the British International Freight Association (BIFA) that a deadline looms which many involved in the shipping of goods may need to be reminded of.

BIFA is alerting its members to the fact that the last date which they can apply for funding from the Government’s £5 million grant scheme to support training in the customs intermediaries sector is the 31st May.

The scheme, opened in December 2018, as part of an £8 million investment to support both training and automation is intended to help buttress the extra demand for customs brokerage services associated with the UK’s departure from the EU. Full details were given in our story at that time.

BIFA says the training grant could be used to support a business that is extending and taking on new staff, or to help train an existing employee to start completing customs declarations for the company. Training can be delivered by an external provider, or an in-house trainer.

It adds that the grant can also be used towards the cost of the new modular customs declarations training course which was launched in March as part of the Government’s wider investment in the sector. Robert Keen, director general of BIFA, the trade association for UK freight forwarding and logistics companies, warns:

“Applicants only have until 31 May 2019 to apply for funding towards training courses that help them to complete customs declarations, or the upgrade of IT systems. HMRC would particularly like to encourage applications for the training grants. These are available to intermediaries and traders completing customs declarations or intending to complete customs declarations in the future. Increased capacity in this [customs brokerage] sector will be important whatever our future relationship with the EU.”

More information on how businesses can apply, and a link to the government’s online application page can be found here. Interested businesses are encouraged to register on the grant application page no later than Friday 24th May to allow time to complete their application by the deadline.