Available to existing and new customs intermediaries who are SMEs, micro businesses or individuals to cover 100% of eligible IT costs.
IT improvement funding is available to existing customs intermediaries who currently complete customs declarations on behalf of importers and exporters or those who wish to begin performing this function for it's customers (e.g. a haulier who wishes to offer a customs agent to it's customers in relation to goods moved between the UK and EU).
Eligible businesses will have 250 employees or less. They should also have an annual turnover of up to EUR 50 million, or a balance sheet total of no more than EUR 43 million.
The IT improvement grant will provide funding toward purchasing the first year license of a packaged software solution to increase the automation or productivity of your business in completing customs declarations. The funding can also be used:
- To buy hardware that’s needed for the software to run;
- To install and configure the software and hardware;
- For related software training.
What IT improvements are excluded from the grant?
- Expenditure not directly related to increasing capacity or productivity within the customs brokerage function relative to preparations regarding the UK leaving the EU;
- Bespoke software packages. Only Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) software is eligible. COTS is defined as packaged solutions that either run unmodified or can be adapted to satisfy the needs of the business rather than the commissioning of custom-made, or bespoke, solutions;
- Network costs; and
- Costs relating purely to IT expenditure to facilitate the transition from interfacing with the CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) system to the new CDS (Customs Declaration Service).
What are the available funding limits?
You can apply for funding for up to 100% of the cost of training, provided you can confirm this would not increase the amount of de-minimis state aid received above the €200,000 threshold. De-minimis aid is defined in the EU Commissions Regulation No 1407/2013.
What are the eligible costs?
All expenditure must be reasonable, appropriate and at normal commercial rates.
VAT registered businesses will be paid the net value of their expenditure and non-VAT registered businesses will be paid the gross value.
What are the time limits on qualifying expenditure?
Please note, qualifying expenditure must have been made on or after 31st July 2019 and must be evidenced, in full, on submission of your claim for payment. The claim for payment must be made no later than two calendar months following receipt of your grant offer.