The Government has announced the UK’s new MFN (most favoured nation) tariff regime, the UK Global Tariff (UKGT) which will take effect from 1 January 2021, when the transition period for the UK leaving the European Union comes to an end.
The UKGT is cited to be tailored to the needs of the UK economy and makes it easier and cheaper for businesses to import goods from overseas. It is simpler, easier to use and has an overall reduction in tariff rates than the EU’s Common External Tariff (EU CET). The UKGT will apply, where no other arrangements exist, to imports of goods to the UK from 1 January 2021.
How will goods be affected?
The new tariffs will apply to all goods imported into the UK, unless an exception such as a preferential arrangement or tariff suspension applies. In particular, this tariff will not apply to goods coming from developing countries that benefit under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences, or to goods originating from countries with which the UK has negotiated a free trade agreement (FTA).
How are the new tariffs different?
Changes include scrapping unnecessary tariff variations, rounding tariffs down to standardised percentages, and removing all tariffs below 2%.
The UKGT also expands tariff free trade by eliminating tariffs on a wide range of products. The UKGT ensures that 60% of trade will come into the UK tariff free, either on WTO terms or through existing preferential access (such as GSP) from January 2021.
Some examples of new zero tariffs are as follows:
- Dishwashers (down from 2.7%).
- Freezers (down from 2.5%).
- Sanitary products and tampons (down from 6.3%).
- Paints (down from 6.5%) and screwdrivers (down from 2.7%).
- Mirrors (down from 4%).
- Scissors and garden shears (down from 4.7%).
- Padlocks (down from 2.7%).
- Thermostats (down from 2.1%).
- Vacuum flasks (down from 6.7%).
- LED lamps (down from 3.7%).
- Bike inner tubes (down from 4%).
- Copper alloy tubes (down from 5.2%)
- Screws and bolts (down from 3.7%).
There are however also a number of sectors where the Government will maintain tariffs in order to back UK industries. Examples of this include:
- Agricultural products such as lamb, beef, and poultry.
- Maintaining a 10% tariff on cars.
- Maintaining tariffs for the vast majority of ceramic products.
- Garments, where tariffs are also being maintained to support imports from the world’s poorest countries that benefit from preferential access to the UK market.
Trading with non-EU countries
It is also worth noting that a number of trade deals with non-EU countries have already been agreed and signed, whilst negotiations are still on-going with various other countries (including the EU) in regards to future FTA agreements. Should these negotiations be successful, a zero rate of duty on further products could be introduced.
Should you require any further information, or need clarification of how any of the above may affect your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch, we would be happy to help.
Imports Team on 01376 533042.
Customs Team on 01376 533006.
We will keep you posted on further developments as and when they occur.