Following the UK leaving the European Union on 31 January 2020, for the first time in almost 50 years the UK is now free to set its tariff rates on imported goods. To inform the development of the new UK global tariff, the government has launched a four-week public consultation and is seeking views. The consultation began on 6 February 2020 and closes on 5 March 2020.
The consultation is seeking views on a potential series of amendments to the EU’s Common External Tariff to create a bespoke UK tariff regime. It is also requesting specific feedback on individual products or commodity codes of importance to respondents (including the corresponding tariff rate) and information on interactions with Most Favoured Nation tariffs and the importance of tariffs to sectors that are relevant to your business.
In setting the new tariff rates, the government will have regard to the principles set out in the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018, namely:
- The interests of consumers in the United Kingdom
- The interests of producers in the United Kingdom of the goods concerned
- The desirability of maintaining and promoting the external trade of the United Kingdom
- The desirability of maintaining and promoting productivity in the United Kingdom
- The extent to which the goods concerned are subject to competition
The government will also seek to balance strategic trade objectives, such as the delivery of the UK’s trade ambitions and FTA trade agenda, with maintaining the government’s commitment to developing countries to reduce poverty through trade.
The new bespoke UK tariff regime will come into force on 1 January 2021 and replace the EU’s Common External Tariff.