UK government unveils post-Brexit tariff regime
The UK plans to impose tariffs on imported cars and a range of agricultural food items, but will slash them on a swathe of other goods, it was announced on Tuesday, as the government outlined its post-Brexit duty regime.
The government said that the new most-favoured nation tariff regime, known as the UK Global Tariff, would be “simpler, easier to use and lower tariff regime” than the European Union’s Common External Tariff. It will also be in sterling rather than euros.
Coming into force on 1 January 2021 and applicable to countries with which the UK has no individual trade agreement, the UKGT maintains tariffs on agricultural products such as beef, lamb, poultry and butter, as well as a 10% levee on imported cars. Tariffs will also be maintained for the “vast majority” of ceramic products coming into the country.
But they will be scrapped for £30bn worth of imports entering UK supply chains, including copper alloy tubes and screws.
There will also be zero tariffs on a wide range of consumer goods, including dishwashers, freezers, tampons, mirrors, cooking ingredients such as baking powder, and Christmas trees. All tariffs below 2% will also be removed.
Under the UKGT, 60% of trade will come in the UK tariff-free on World Trade Organization terms or through existing preferential access from January next year.
Liz Truss, the trade secretary, said the new regime was tailored to the British economy and would “benefit UK consumers and households by cutting red tape and reducing the cost of thousands of everyday products”.
The government is negotiating free trade agreements with countries around the world and aims to have deals in place covering 80% of the trade within three years. It continues to trade under the EU’s Common External Tariff during the transition period, which comes to an end on 31 December.