Compensation for businesses with extra (customs) costs due to Brexit

As a result of Brexit, the United Kingdom (UK) has become a ‘third country’. This means businesses are faced with customs obligation upon import or export of goods to or from the UK. Has this led to additional costs for your business ? If so, be sure to check whether you may be eligible for the Brexit Adjustment Reserve or ‘BAR’. You may be entitled to financial compensation for costs such as training expenses, IT adjustments and external advice. These one-off compensation schemes are available for a limited time and on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, so don’t delay filing your application!

Reimbursement for incurred costs

The ‘BAR Reimbursement for incurred costs’ (‘BAR Tegemoetkoming gemaakte kosten’) is a one-off European Union scheme. It has been available since 1 November 2022. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland or RVO) carries out the scheme on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received, and for as long as funds are still available.

Main conditions

Costs are only eligible for compensation, if they were incurred and paid between 1 January 2018 and 31 October 2022. Other applicable conditions include:

  • being able to prove those particular activities were necessary due to Brexit;
  • all relevant customs requirements are met;
  • at least € 5,000 of the total 2020 turnover stems from trading activities with the UK or trading activities within the EU for which transport in or through the UK was required.

Reimbursement for future costs

A budget of € 185 million is available for the BAR Reimbursement for incurred cost. Additionally, € 33 million is available for the BAR Reimbursement for future costs (‘BAR Tegemoetkoming nog te maken kosten’). This scheme is open for applications up to and including 13 January 2023, 17:00 hrs. The BAR Reimbursement for incurred costs can be applied for up to and including 31 March 2023. Both deadlines may be moved forward if the available budget runs out before the end of the application period.

Information and application webpage

There is also a programme that supports businesses in developing promising sales markets outside of the UK: the EU Trade Programme (‘EU Handelsprogramma’). Participants of this programme will receive support in the form of advice, training and guidance, until the end of 2023. Businesses that wish to apply for the schemes or the programme, can do so on the BAR-pagina (only available in Dutch) on the website of the RVO.

If you have any questions regarding VAT and customs after Brexit, please feel free to contact Marisa Hut of Stevie Mols. We would be happy to be of service.