Cabinet Minister Michael Gove has announced a £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund to support small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) adjust to new customs, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU.
SMEs who trade only with the EU and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes will be encouraged to apply for grants of up to £2,000 for each trader to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU. The fund will be administered through the pre-existing Customs Grant Scheme and will open for applications next month.
Michael Gove said: “The Government has listened carefully to the issues raised by the business community through the Brexit Business Taskforce and that’s why we are bringing forward this financial support to help small businesses adapt to the changes to our trading relationship with the EU.
“This new targeted funding will see small businesses get more of the practical support they need to adjust to the new processes and prepare for further changes as we implement our own import controls in April and July. Together we will seize new opportunities available to a fully independent global trading United Kingdom.”
Support for exporters
- Department for International Trade’s Check How to Export Goods online tool, where you can find information on the UK border, and duties and customs procedures for over 160 markets around the world.
- VAT guidance about the conditions for zero rating VAT on the goods you export, and what you should do when you export goods in specific circumstances.
- The free Trader Support Service that you can sign up to, if you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
- An online guidance package developed by DEFRA with HMRC to guide fish exporters through each step of the export journey. There’s a range of information and support available to help you make sure you’re following the new rules including the MMO One Stop Shop.
- HMRC’s Customs & International Trade Helpline which you can call and speak to an advisor on 0300 322 9434. The helpline is open from 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 4pm at weekends. Or you can send HMRC your questions or use their webchat service.
- View the new on demand videos which focus on priority topics for businesses, such as exporting.
- Specific guidance and training is available on moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland.
- For any further queries or general business advice you can contact the government’s dedicated business support helplines.