Government announces new post-Brexit global tariff scheme

19 May 2020, 08:24

Charges will be scrapped on £30-billion worth of imports, from January
Charges will be scrapped on £30-billion worth of imports, from January. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Foods and household appliances could be cheaper with Brits able to have more choice under a new post-Brexit tariff scheme released by the Government.

On Tuesday the Government announced a new post-Brexit tariff regime to replace the European Union’s external tariff, maintaining a 10 per cent tariff on cars but cutting tens of billions of pounds of supply chain imports.

The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) will see duties on £30 billion worth of imports slashed while protecting tariffs for industries such as agriculture, automotive and fishing the Department for International Trade announced.

Dishwasher, freezers and even Christmas trees will have zero tariffs under the new regime, while the announcement also includes cooking products such as cocoa and baking powder will also be levy free.

“Our new Global Tariff will benefit UK consumers and households by cutting red tape and reducing the cost of thousands of everyday products,” International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said.

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

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The UK will also see thousands of tariff variations on products scrapped - including more than 13,000 tariff variations on products including biscuits, waffles, pizzas, quiches, confectionery and spreads.

The UK Global Tariff will replace the European Union's external tariff on January 1, at the end of the transition period, and will see 60% of trade come in tariff-free under the plan.

The Government said it would maintain a 10% tariff on cars, as well as those on agricultural products such as lamb, beef, and poultry to protect British industry.

It has also set a temporary zero tariff rate on some products used to fight Covid-19 which would otherwise charge a levy under the new regime, though it added that most pharmaceuticals and medical devices - including ventilators - are set to be tariff-free.

Products set to be tariff-free under the Government's new post-Brexit tariff regime include:

- 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%).

- Cooking products such as baking powder (down from 6.1%), yeast (down from 12%), bay leaves (down from 7%), ground thyme (down from 8.5%) and cocoa powder (down from 8%).

- Christmas trees (down from 2.5%).

More than 100 products to back a sustainable economy will also be tariff-free, such as:

- Thermostats (down from 2.1%).

- Vacuum flasks (down from 6.7%).

- LED lamps (down from 3.7%).

- Bike inner tubes (down from 4%).