The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has reminded its members and any company involved in international trade that its online training course that focuses on Customs declarations is still available, with grant funding available from the Government.
Robert Keen, BIFA director general says: “The Covid-19 crisis has kicked the transition period off the front pages, and our members are rightly focusing their efforts on their ongoing management of international supply chains that are under severe strain.
“However, with trade discussions between the UK and the EU stalled, and no sign of a request for an extension to the transition period, Customs declarations remain a huge issue, if no trade deal has been reached by the end of this year.
“At some point, we will emerge from the current crisis and I would urge members and anyone involved in international trade to consider how they can obtain a better understanding of Customs regimes and how to complete a Customs declaration when some sense of normality returns to international trade, whenever that might be, and whatever it looks like.”
BIFA’s online eLearning course was introduced in March 2019. It has 11 modules in total. These include: The Export processes, The Import process and entry completion rules, Customs Procedure Codes (CPCs) and Customs Simplified Procedures; and BIFA says it should not take more than around five hours to complete.
Keen adds that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has extended the deadline for businesses to apply for customs support funding to 31 January 2021.
“Under the government’s rules on furloughed employees, ongoing work for the company is not allowed. However, training is still permissible.
“Hence I am encouraging any of our members, which have furloughed employees, to think about the business opportunities that will most likely arise as a result of the extra demand for customs brokerage services associated with the UK’s departure from the EU, and consider whether our online Customs declaration elearning course would be appropriate for those employees.
“Grants are still available to cover the costs involved and we understand that most grant applications are successful but full details, including costs are on the BIFA website – www.bifa.org.”