Noting that with immediate effect, UK Customs intermediaries can apply for £50 million of new funding, first announced in June 2020, the British International Freight Association (BIFA), says that it hopes it will help its members to increase their capacity to make declarations ahead of 2021.
Director general Robert Keen says: “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 1st 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.
“As one of the country’s largest providers of Customs-related training courses, BIFA decided to replicate almost its entire course range and deliver it via video conferencing, due to the Covid-19 crisis preventing face-to-face training.”
Keen concludes: “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 their organisation.
“Hence, we are encouraging members that have furloughed employees to take advantage of the additional funding that has been made available by applying for it to finance some of BIFA’s online Customs training opportunities for those employees, as well as employees that have not been furloughed. “