BIFA warns of looming deadline for Customs grant scheme applications

BIFA comments on UK budget
Robert Keen

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) is again reminding its members of a looming deadline by which they can apply for funding from a £16 million grant scheme.

Originally announced by the UK government in October 2019, the scheme represents an additional round of funding for employee training and IT improvements for customs intermediaries, traders and hauliers that make customs declarations to help them prepare ahead of Brexit.

Robert Keen, director general of BIFA, the trade association for UK freight forwarding and logistics companies, warns: “Applicants only have until January 17, 2020 to register with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) – which is administering the grants for HMRC – with applications closing on January 31, 2020 (or earlier if funding is fully allocated).”

BIFA says the grants 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.

The scheme is intended to help support the extra demand for customs brokerage services associated with the UK’s departure from the EU and Keen adds: “Increased capacity in this sector will be important whatever the nature of our future relationship with the EU.”

More information on how businesses can apply, and a link to the online application page are available at