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Scotland’s enterprise and skills agencies are urging all businesses in Scotland to continue to actively prepare for changes taking place from 1 January 2021 following the EU transition (Brexit) period.  

The trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the rest of the EU changed when the UK voted to end its participation in the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union.  

There are two potential outcomes when the transition phase ends. The UK will either leave the EU with a deal, or without. The deadline for this decision is 31 December 2020. And no matter the outcome, the changes are likely to impact businesses.     

Businesses should act now to identify what the shifts mean for their operations before making the changes to systems, processes, staffing and potentially business models.   

Up-to-date advice and guidance and support on these changes and how to prepare can be accessed via   

This includes:   

  • Brexit Helpline – queries from import and export documentation, tariffs, VAT to logistics Telephone: 0300 303 0661 
  • Brexit A – Z for all the information you need to prepare businesses for 1 January 2021  
  • 10 point Brexit Checklist which aims to assist Scottish businesses in preparing for these changes and will help them to plan and prioritise what actions they need to take now.  
  • A self-service directory – How will Brexit impact your supply chain?​  which can help companies prepare for supply chain disruption caused by Brexit, and those companies looking to replace suppliers due to the impact of COVID-19.  It’s a FREE service and includes searching a range of web and subscription databases to help companies find the suppliers you need. 
  • Accessing the latest Brexit webinars including a list of webinars and videos hosted by SE and partners – IoE, Chambers of Commerce, BEIS, Defra, HMRC and DIT 
  • Support for export and customs documentation from getting support on how to deal with customs, export documentation support via your local chamber in Scotland and via HMRC’s Customs Grant Scheme where organisations can apply for funding to reimburse a number of costs associated with increasing their capacity and enhancing their ability to complete customs declarations, ahead of the new rules from January 2021.  

HMRC Customs Grant Scheme 

HMRC have updated the conditions of their Customs Grant Scheme. These changes allow greater amounts of money to be granted and more businesses to access the funding, in order to help ensure they are ready to trade with the EU after the transition period ends.

Three key additions have been made to the scheme:

  • Business can access up to 2 million euros of funding for a new training project where they co-invest, under the General Block Exemption Regulations (GBER) for Training Aid. Applications for the co-funded Training Project Grant under GBER work differently from applications to the existing scheme and more information is available here.
  • Traders who are new to customs and who don’t plan to complete their own declarations can apply for grants of up to £1,000 per organisation to support the cost of basic customs training. This will help traders understand what is involved in making customs declarations and can help them prepare for when they speak to an intermediary.

Businesses with AEO status who are established in the UK for less than 12 months can also now access the grant scheme. This will encourage new entrants to the intermediary market.

If a business completes customs declarations they can apply for funding towards the following areas:   

  • Training that helps businesses to complete customs declarations and processes  
  • Hiring new staff to help businesses complete customs declarations 
  • IT improvements to help businesses complete customs declarations more efficiently 

Recently launched (Nov 2020) – companies can access support for:   

Co-funded training project – business can access up to 2 million euros of funding for a new training project where they co-invest 

Trader training – Traders who are new to customs and who don’t plan to complete their own declarations can apply for grants of up to £1,000 per organisation to support the cost of basic customs training. 

Find out more by Signing-up to receive the latest email updates on EU Transition (Brexit) guidance and support for businesses in Scotland 

For more information, visit