Note: The Clear Customs Financial Support is now closed.
Visit our Brexit supports page for information on the available Enterprise Ireland supports.
Background to Clear Customs Financial Support
To support enterprises to undertake this investment, a Customs Upskilling Scheme, ‘Clear Customs’, has been developed jointly between the Department of the Taoiseach, Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation and Department of Education and Skills
The Scheme will comprise two elements:
- Support for the training of employees in customs clearance (CILT Skillnet 5-day Clear Customs Training Programme). This will be administered by Skillnet; and
- Direct financial support for enterprises to meet the additional costs (e.g. employment, overheads, IT integration) of increasing customs clearance capacity, Clear Customs – Financial Support will be administered by Enterprise Ireland.
This below refers to Clear Customs – Financial Support only.
This is a cash limited scheme of up to €3m, with the following features:
- Support will be in the form of a grant of €6,000 per full-time eligible employee (defined as ≥28 hours/week)
- Part-time employees will receive 50% of the value of the financial support (defined as between 14 and <28 hours/week)
- The number of employees per enterprise that will be supported under the Customs Financial Support will be informed by:
- the enterprise’s existing level of trade (import/export) with, or through, the UK, or
- the level of trade with, or through, the UK currently being, or projected to be, facilitated by the enterprise.
This is to ensure that the number of employees supported is proportionate to the increase in customs clearance capacity required. See appendix 1 at bottom of page for guidance.
- The maximum number of eligible employees per enterprise who will qualify for support will be 10. The maximum payment per enterprise will, therefore, be €60,000.
The scheme will open on 16th August at 15.00 and will remain open to applications until such time as the fund is exhausted, or the 15th November at 15:00, whichever is the earlier.
Note: Acceptance on the Clear Customs training does not guarantee eligibility for the Clear Customs Financial Support.
Legal & State Aid Basis
In accordance with Section 7 (1) (i) of the Industrial Development (Enterprise Ireland) Act 1998, this Scheme shall be administered by Enterprise Ireland, using funds made available for that purpose by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation with the consent of both the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.
The State Aid basis is Commission Regulation (EC) No.1407/2013 of 18 December 2013 (De Minimis Aid) and Commission Regulation (EU) No 1408/2013 of 18 December 2013.
The Clear Customs – Financial Support is open to enterprises that are currently engaged in the import/ export, or are facilitating the import/export, 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 import and/or export of goods with the UK or the import and/export of goods through the UK.
In addition, to be in alignment with the Clear Customs Training eligibility criteria, enterprises:
- Must have a CRO number and be incorporated in the Republic of Ireland at the time of application
- Must have an EORI number from Revenue
An eligible employee:
- Is an employee of an eligible enterprise at the time of application to the SkillNet training programme
- Is based in Ireland
- Has completed/ will complete the CILT Skillnet 5-day Clear Customs Training Programme
- Is/will be engaged in customs clearance activities
- Enterprises that are not financially at date of application
- Enterprises, where the employee undertaking the training 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.
An application will be considered eligible where it comprises:
- A completed application form, which will include:
- Outline of existing and projected activity in the import/ export or facilitation of import/export of goods 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
- Copy of most recent signed Audited Accounts (consolidated if part of a Group) or, where appropriate, most recent financial statements (unabridged) (where enterprise eligible for exemption from audited accounts (Section 277a Companies Act 2014 as inserted by section 14 Companies (Accounting) Act 2017).
- Confirmation of registration of eligible employee on approved training programme
- Confirmation from authorised officers/ director 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 Skillnet and 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.
A single application per enterprise is allowed.
All applications will be screened for eligibility for the Scheme. Ineligible applicants will be informed following the receipt of applications.
Applications for the Customs Financial Support must be submitted to Enterprise Ireland on-line.
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 November at 15:00, whichever is the earlier.
Completed applications must be submitted by 15th November 2019 at 15:00.
Approval and Claims Process
Following approval by Enterprise Ireland, a formal letter of offer will be issued to the successful applicants.
Payment of the approved Customs Financial Support will be made in two installments.
50% of the approved payment per eligible employee will be paid:
- on confirmation from Skillnet to Enterprise Ireland that the eligible employee has undertaken the CILT Skillnet 5-day Clear Customs Training Programme and
- on receipt of the required claim documentation.
A valid claim will include the following:
- Confirmation of employment of eligible employee and employment status (Payroll, PPS number)
- A valid tax clearance certificate/ tax clearance access number (TCAN)
- Bank details of the enterprise
- Directors statement
The second half of the approved payment will be paid six months after the approval date, on receipt of confirmation of employment of eligible employee and employment status (Payroll, PPS number) detailing the continued employment status of the eligible employee(s)
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.
For enquiries regarding the Clear Customs Financial Support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Enterprise Ireland Brexit Unit on 01 727 2727.
Guidance for enterprises to inform the number of employees eligible for Clear Customs Financial Support
The number of eligible employees that will be supported under the Clear Customs Financial Support 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 Clear Customs Financial Support for additional employees in excess of the guidelines below should be clearly demonstrated as part of the application.
Table 1: Estimate of employee processing capacity
|Simple Scenario||Complex Scenario|
|Number of declarations processed per full time employee per day||100 – 120 declarations/day||40 – 50 declarations/day|