UK unveils post-Brexit tariff regime

Land Transport

Source: Politico, 2020-05-19

The UK will slash import tariffs on some products and scrap the complex calculation system the EU uses to determine some food levies once the Brexit transition period ends.

Around £30bn worth of imports will see lower tariffs, including cuts to zero on screws and bolts, glass rods and alloy tubes, and reductions on products Britain does not produce, such as olives, rice flour and shammy leather.

Overall, the average tariff rate in the UK is set to fall to around 6% from around 7%, but tariffs will be maintained to protect key industries such as agriculture and automotive. Current EU rates on beef and cars will continue to apply, for example.

Britain will also ditch the Meursing code, which is used to work out tariffs on products containing milks and sugars, and will have a single tariff for each seasonal product.

It is the first time the UK has set its own tariff regime for almost 50 years. It will come into force when the Brexit transition period ends on 1 January 2021 and will apply to all goods imported into the UK for trade outside of trade deals or other suspensions.

The U.K. will also round tariffs down to their nearest 2%, 5% or 10%, depending on their existing level, to simplify the regime, and will cut tariffs on environmental products such as hessian bags, LED lamps and gas turbines.

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