Future relationship with the EU Now that we have left the EU we have entered a transition period that lasts until 31 December 2020. There will be no changes to the terms of trade with the EU or the rest of the world during this time. From 1 January 2021, the way businesses trade with the EU will change, and they’ll need to prepare for life outside the EU, including new customs arrangements. Last month, we contacted businesses in the UK who may import and export between the UK and the EU, to explain some of the actions they need to take to prepare for changes to customs arrangements after the transition period, including: • making sure they have a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number • preparing to make customs declarations by deciding if they want to use a third party such as a customs agent or make declarations themselves The letter that we posted to around 220,000 VAT registered businesses, has been published on GOV.UK. Deadline extended for grant funding To help prepare businesses for completing customs declarations, the deadline to apply for at least £7.5 million of grant funding has now been extended to 31 January 2021. Around £18.5 million of grant funding has been applied for since September 2019. The extension will allow more businesses to benefit from the remaining funding to increase their capacity for dealing with customs declarations with training, IT and staff.
Applications will close on 31 January 2021, or earlier if funding is fully allocated. We’ve seen an increasing number of applications, so interested businesses are encouraged to apply soon. Businesses that want to apply for funding should not contact HMRC but can apply online. You can read full details of what can be claimed and how to apply on GOV.UK.