In welcome news for IIFA Members, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, T.D. announced on 6th May 2021 the extension of the deadline for applications to the €9,000 ‘Ready for Customs’ grant scheme, allowing businesses to continue to apply for help until 31st August, 2021.
The grant, which is administered by Enterprise Ireland, provides up to €9,000 for each new employee hired into a customs role. The grant is flexible and allows businesses to claim for redeployed and part-time staff.
Extending the grant, the Tánaiste said:
“Since the beginning of this year, Irish businesses have been managing new customs arrangements when trading with the U.K. These new arrangements added an extra layer of complexity and bureaucracy, after what was already a remarkably challenging period for Irish business. This grant, along with the other help that is available, is designed to make it easier for businesses to make the necessary changes.
“Over €12m of the €20m we had set aside for the scheme has been allocated, supporting more than 1,800 new roles in customs processing. It has been of particular assistance to companies in the transport, logistics and freight sector. I am extending the scheme today and reopening it for applications until the end of August this year. Great Britain will be introducing further checks in October, so it’s important that businesses, especially those in the food sector who will be particularly affected by those extra checks, have the necessary arrangements in place.
“Up to €9,000 is available per employee taken on or redeployed to help businesses manage the customs changes and I’d strongly encourage any affected business to apply for this funding.”
Encouraging businesses to apply for the Ready for Customs Grant, Minister for Trade Promotion, Robert Troy T.D. said:
“Businesses have shown incredible resilience in responding to the new trading landscape as a result of Brexit. Government is committed to supporting businesses to navigate the changed environment and the extension of the Ready for Customs grant scheme will enable businesses to continue to respond to future customs changes.
“Businesses need to devote time to take stock of what these changes will mean for them and to decide how to manage their customs overheads. The Ready for Customs grant is one of a suite of supports to assist businesses. I am urging companies to reach out and engage with the various customs training and grants, tariff and other advisory services available.”
Giles O’Neill, Manager of Enterprise Ireland’s Brexit Unit said,
“The Ready for Customs grant is assisting hundreds of companies to adjust to our new trading relationship with the UK. In addition to the core offer of €9,000 per newly hired employee, the grant is flexible and can cover overhead costs such as training associated with hiring a new employee.
“We know that many companies are now assessing their future customs capabilities. It is important for companies to know that they can apply for the grant for each new employee hired. So, for instance, companies who have already availed of the grant and are now looking to increase their internal customs capability can apply for any new staff hired.”
A comment from IIFA
During the long March toward BREXIT, the Association represented the operative role of Customs Clearance procedures and working realities of Member firms with Irish Government, Sector Representative Bodies and other Working Groups. Initiatives such as Ready for Customs were born from such interaction and IIFA encourages Members to avail of these Business aids and continue to increase their capacity to handle the increasingly complex and demanding trading requirements for cargo flow to and through the UK.
To date, it is reported that 912 approvals have been made under the Ready for Customs grant. The total value of allocations currently is €12.6m. Applications for the grant will now be accepted up to 31 August 2021 or when the €20m fund allocated is exhausted, whichever comes first.
Further information and how to apply is available here
IIFA Customs Training
For those Businesses seeking to recruit new staff, IIFA continues to offer its Practical Customs Declaration training programme. This training now takes places across 6x 3 hour Zoom Sessions over a three week period, putting Participants through a gauntlet of increasingly difficult Declaration types, ensuring that those who complete the Programme are fully confident and experienced with the Skills needed to carry out effective and compliant Customs Clearance Declarations.
For more on this training, please click here.