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£2,000 grants for businesses to access professional advice or training in Brexit Support Fund

12 April 2021

Announced last month as part of a £20 million grant fund to help smaller businesses adapt to trade rules with the EU, the Brexit Support Fund will offer eligible businesses grants of up to £2,000 each.

What is covered by the Brexit Support Fund?

The professional advice grant can be used to access advice to help SMEs meet their customs, excise, import/export VAT or safety and security declaration requirements, as long as it is considered a ‘valid advisory cost’:

  • The expenditure must be directly related to consultancy advice procured by the applicant to enable the business to discharge its obligations to HMRC, such as customs, excise, VAT relating to importing or exporting or safety and security declaration obligations.
  • The provision of professional advice on specific aspects of regulations such as clarification of rules of origin or VAT relating to imports or exports.
  • Associated costs with the delivery of professional advice – such as the consultant’s travel and subsistence costs and costs of products supplied included within the consultant’s fee and essential to the delivery of the advice

Government guidance confirms that grants can also be used for training programmes relating to the following areas:

  • how to complete customs declarations
  • how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems
  • specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin


Government guidance for eligibility advises that businesses must:

  • have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before submitting the application, or currently hold Authorised Economic Operator status
  • not have previously failed to meet its tax or customs obligations
  • have no more than 500 employees
  • have no more than £100 million turnover
  • import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or moves goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The business must also either:

  • complete (or intend to complete) import or export declarations internally for its own goods
  • use someone else to complete import or export declarations but requires additional capability internally to effectively import or export (such as advice on rules of origin or advice on dealing with a supply chain)

Important note for businesses looking to apply for the Brexit Support Fund

The deadline for this grant fund is 30 June 2021, and from now until then, eligible businesses can apply for a grant provided the expenditure was made on or after 11 February 2021. Businesses are also advised to apply without delay, as a grant will not be guaranteed in case the £20 million fund runs out before the June deadline.

How to apply

Eligible businesses can now apply online via HMRC portal.

If your business needs advice on continued trading with the EU, including but not limited to customs, excise, import VAT and safety and security declaration requirements, please get in touch with us on and one of our advisers will get back to you as soon as possible.

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