Ready for Customs
Objective of the Support
This new grant provides companies with financial assistance to cover the costs of taking on much needed additional customs clearance staff, which will be required when Brexit becomes a reality on the 1st January 2021.
This is a cash limited scheme of up to €20m, with the following financial support available:
- A grant of €9,000 to support the recruitment or redeployment of a full-time1 employee into a dedicated customs role.
- A grant of €4,500 to support the recruitment or redeployment of a part-time2 employee into a dedicated customs role.
Enterprise Ireland may seek repayment of the grant if 12 months from the date of offer it is established that the dedicated customs role was not sustained, or that suitable customs training was not provided.
Typically, if an employee has been redeployed within the business, back filling the position vacated will be expected.
The maximum number of eligible employees per enterprise who will qualify for support will be limited by the amount of De Minimis Aid available to the enterprise. However, Enterprise Ireland reserves the right to determine that the number of employees proposed is appropriate to the additional customs clearance capacity proposed.
The scheme opens on 9th Sept. 2020 and will remain open to applications until such time as the fund is exhausted, or the 15th December 2020 at 15:00, whichever is the earlier, to allow for the processing and payment of grants.
1 Defined as ≥28 hours/week
2 Defined as between 14 and <28 hours/week
The ‘Ready for Customs’ grant is open to enterprises that are currently engaged in the movement of goods to, from, or through the UK and which will require new or increased customs clearance capacity. These include enterprises that:
- Are providing freight, haulage, logistics services to, from or through the UK or
- Are providing customs intermediary services or
- Are directly engaged in the movement of goods with or through the UK.
In addition, enterprises:
- Must have a CRO number (not a business name) and be incorporated in the Republic of Ireland at the time of application.
- Must have an EORI number from Revenue.
- Enterprises providing customs intermediary services less than 12 months since establishment must also provide a supporting business plan.
An eligible employee:
- Is based in Ireland.
- Is/will be engaged primarily in customs clearance activities with a role such as Customs Clearance Clerk/Administrator, Customs Clearance Operator, Customs Supervisor, Import/Export Freight Operator/Administrator or similar.
- Is a new hire to the organisation, or has been re-deployed within the organisation to a dedicated customs role from date of application.
- Enterprises that are not financially viable at the date of application.
- Enterprises, where the employee is contracted to work for the enterprise for less than 14 hours/week (on average).
- Enterprises operating in the coal or steel industry.
- Enterprises covered by specific rules for financial institutions.
- Enterprises which are subject to an outstanding recovery order following a previous European Commission decision declaring aid illegal and incompatible with the internal market.
- Enterprises who were approved any other State or EU funding for the activity for which they are seeking funding.
- Enterprises which include or relate to activities that Enterprise Ireland considers as ineligible or as involving an unacceptable reputational risk. Ineligible activities include activities relating to; the gambling sector, including 'gaming' (as defined in the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956), Adult entertainment and Tobacco products.
- Enterprises which have already reached their De Minimis aid limit or do not have sufficient unutilised De Minimis capacity to avail of the relief.
An application will be considered eligible where it comprises:
- A completed application form, which will include:
- Outline of existing and projected business activities or facilitation of business activities to, from, or through the UK.
- Outline of proposed (new/additional) customs clearance activities that will be undertaken.
- Outline of expected volume of UK customs declarations requirements.
- Number of eligible employees proposed for financial support.
- Declaration of employment status (full-time/part-time) of eligible employees.
- An outline of additional IT infrastructural costs (hardware/software) associated with the increased customs clearance capacity.
- Copy of most recent signed unabridged Audited Accounts for 2019 year-end (consolidated if part of a Group) or, where an enterprise is eligible for exemption from audited accounts3, the equivalent unabridged financial statements.
- Confirmation from authorised officers4 of the applicant enterprise that consent has been provided by eligible employees that their respective employment information and relevant personal data will be provided to Enterprise Ireland for the purposes of processing the application.
- Declaration of De Minimis Aid status.
Enterprise Ireland reserves the right to seek additional documentation (e.g. Management Accounts) to support the validation of the application.
Multiple applications per enterprise are allowed within the time limits, single applications are encouraged.
3 Section 277a Companies Act 2014 as inserted by section 14 Companies (Accounting) Act 2017
4 A Director of the enterprise
Applications for the ‘Ready for Customs’ grant must be submitted to Enterprise Ireland through the EI on-line portal.
No Financial Data Sheet (FDS) will be required as part of the application process.
Applications in any other format will not be accepted. All sections of the application form must be completed in full. Incomplete applications will not be accepted for processing by Enterprise Ireland.
Enterprise Ireland will acknowledge receipt of application. Qualifying applications will be processed and assessed on the basis of the timing of their receipt by Enterprise Ireland, to such time as the fund is exhausted, or the 15th December 2020, whichever is the earlier.
- The final date for submission of completed applications will be 15th December 2020. This is a limited fund, early applications are encouraged.
Enterprise Ireland will assess the application under the following headlines:
- Company eligibility
- Financial viability
- Current and future customs capacity requirements.
Applications are currently open. The application process will close when the €20m fund has been dispersed or on 15th December, 2020 at 3pm, whichever is earlier.
Businesses are advised to apply as early as possible for the scheme.
All applications will be screened for eligibility for the Scheme. Ineligible applicants will be informed following the receipt of applications.
Following approval by Enterprise Ireland, a formal letter of offer will be issued to the successful applicants.
Payment of the approved ‘Ready for Customs’ grant will be made in one instalment. The maximum number of claims per company is two. Companies are encouraged to make one complete claim for all eligible employees. The final claim date will be Feb 28th 2021. The claim will be assessed by way of desk inspection and will be validated in 12 months’ time.
A valid claim will include the following:
- Submission of an employment contract of eligible employee for a new hire.
- In the case of re-deployment, submission of an employment contract and/or job description.
- Confirmation of employment of eligible employee and employment status (Payroll, PPS number).
- Confirmation that employee(s) has undertaken or will be undertaking the Skillnet customs clearance training programme or similar.
- A valid tax clearance certificate/tax clearance access number (TCAN).
- Bank details of the enterprise.
- Directors statement, including confirmation that the employee(s) is/are engaged in dedicated customs clearance activity.
Clawback of payment
EI may seek claw back on the payment after 12 months if the new position created does not remain filled for 12 months or if the redeployed employee is no longer in position, and if the individual has not undertaken relevant training. Also, if an employee has been redeployed within the business, back filling the position vacated will be expected.
Enterprise Ireland will treat any false or misleading statements as a serious matter, which may be used in legal proceedings against the maker of any such statement or any applicant enterprise of which they are an officer.
Enterprise Ireland has a statutory obligation of confidentiality to enterprises in receipt of support and will not disclose any information except as required by law.
Guidance for enterprises to inform the number of employees eligible for Ready for Customs grant
The number of eligible employees that will be supported under the Ready for Customs grant will be in line with the customs capacity requirements of the enterprise.
The following table provides an estimate of the number of declarations that can be processed by a full-time employee per day, dependent on the level of complexity of the products being processed.
It has been divided into two categories to reflect the different types of processing scenarios, and the resulting impact on processing capacity:
- Simple Scenario: A small number of commodities shipped, consignor/ consignee group known and predictable.
- Complex Scenario: A large variety of commodities shipped, consignor/ consignee group are diverse and unpredictable.
This should be used as a guideline to determine the customs capacity requirements of the enterprise and hence the number of eligible employees proposed for financial support.
The need for Ready for Customs grant for additional employees in excess of the guidelines below should be clearly demonstrated as part of the application, recognising the complexity and time requirements will differ significantly across different sectors.
Table 1: Estimate of employee processing capacity (Guideline Only)
|Simple Scenario||Complex Scenario|
|Number of declarations processed per full time employee per day||100 - 120 declarations/day||40 - 50 declarations/day|
For enquiries regarding the Ready for Customs Grant and to apply please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Enterprise Ireland Brexit Unit on 01-727 2727