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Customs: Staff

Treasury written question – answered on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Kennedy of Southwark Lord Kennedy of Southwark Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Housing)

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many qualified customs agents there are; and what assessment they have made of the adequacy of that number.

Photo of The Earl of Courtown The Earl of Courtown Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)

The customs intermediaries sector in the UK is unregulated and there is no requirement for registration or qualification, so the precise volume of qualified agents is complex to establish. HMRC have engaged extensively with the customs intermediaries sector on the sector’s concerns about demand for customs broker services post-EU exit and a possible short-fall in capacity. That is why HMRC have made £34m available to support the sector with training, improvements in automation, and recruitment of customs agents. This has funded approximately 2200 training courses to train staff in customs process and procedures, and funded the creation of a new UK Customs Academy which will provide online training courses and industry-recognised qualifications. The grant schemes remain open until 31 January 2020.

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