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HMRC have announced the introduction of the SME Support Fund which aims to provide qualifying businesses with grants of up to £2,000 that are intended to support small to medium-sized businesses in light of the UK’s exit from the EU and, consequentially, the Customs Union, who are new to importing/exporting goods.

In order to be eligible for these grants, your business must;

  • Be established in the UK for at least 12 months prior to submitting an application for grant funding. If the business does not meet this criteria but hold Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status, the business will still be able to apply;
  • Import/export goods from the UK to the EU, or supply goods from the UK to NI. Grants cannot be applied for if the business does not complete (or intend to complete) import/export declarations internally, or, if these are completed by someone else the business must require additional capability internally to import/export effectively, for example in terms of managing the supply chain;
  • Have a good reporting/payment history with HMRC. If the business has failed to meet its VAT obligations in the past, any funding application may be rejected;
  • Have fewer than 500 employees with a turnover of less than £100 million.


This grant funding is intended for businesses that meet the criteria above who are seeking support in the form of professional advice/training in relation to the completion of customs declarations in addition to carrying out customs processes that are new to the business as a result of Brexit. Furthermore, any advice required by the business to ensure its VAT/customs obligations are met falls under the scope of this funding.

The VAT People can provide support and assistance in applying for this funding by way of managing the entire process on behalf of the business – if you wish to utilise our services in relation to this funding please call our free helpline on 0161 477 6600. If your business intends to make an application for this funding, action should be taken in the first instance as a limited amount of funding is available and once this has been allocated no further applications will be considered.

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