UK sets out new post-Brexit tariff regime

Today, 19 May, The Government has announced the UK’s new MFN (most-favoured-nation) tariff regime, the UK Global Tariff (UKGT). This will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff on 1 January 2021 at the end of the Transition Period.

The new tariff is a simpler, easier to use and lower tariff regime than the EU’s Common External Tariff (EU CET) and will be in pounds (£), not euros.

The international trade secretary, Elizabeth Truss, said: “For the first time in 50 years we are able to set our own tariff regime that is tailored to the UK economy.

“Our new global tariff will benefit UK consumers and households by cutting red tape and reducing the cost of thousands of everyday products.

“With this straightforward approach, we are backing UK industry and helping businesses overcome the unprecedented economic challenges posed by coronavirus.”

The system would ensure that 60% of trade would come into the UK tariff free on WTO terms or through existing preferential access schemes with developing countries from January 2021.

Tariffs will be cut on more than 100 products to encourage the development of a more sustainable economy. These include thermostats and LED lamps. The temporary zero tariff rate on products needed to fight Covid-19 – such as ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) will be continued beyond 1 January next year if the medical situation makes it necessary, the DIT said.

At the same time, the United Kingdom would retain tariffs on a number of goods supporting UK industries, such as agriculture, automotive and fishing.