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​The UK's Global Trade Tariff


The UK Government has announced a range of changes in its new Global Tariff policy to take effect from the 1st January 2021. (19th May 2020)

The Department for International Trade has announced its new UK Global Tariff plan on leaving the European Union. This tariff will apply for the trade in goods and markets which the UK does not have a trade agreement with.

The Global Tariff aims to simplify tariffs, rounding tariff values to the nearest whole number, .25 or 5%. This also includes the removal of “nuisance tariffs” (those under 2%), meaning that 60% of goods will be tariff free- up from 47%.

Protective measures will remain on goods like agriculture, cars and ceramics. This new strategy is aimed at consumers and UK supply chains, who can import cheaper material or goods for consumption.

This is a change from the previous Government, under Theresa May, which planned to eliminate all import tariffs which caused significant concern that the UK would be a “dumping ground” for cheap imports, and cripple domestic industry.

The notice does note that the practice will reduce the burden of “red tape”, however, it is definitely worth noting that without comprehensive trade deals, including market alignments, then the burden of administration will go up.

The reduction or removal of tariffs does not mean the removal of customs documentation. This may also complicate moving goods in Ireland, as Sam Marc Lowe pointed out, due to their new customs arrangement, meaning a 5.2% good there, is 5% here….

However, it will at least offer some clarity for business on baseline scenarios for global trade and planning.

Check your Global Tariff, with the DIT Global Tariff Tool: