Wednesday, March 13, 2019

As Tariffs Post Brexit Published Criticisms Come in from the Freight Sector

No Deal Vote Crucial as Mitigation Measures Revealed
Shipping News Feature
UK – Amidst all the current confusion surrounding what the terms are going to be for Britain leaving the EU, the government has today published details of the tariffs applicable, on a temporary basis, on goods imported from the EU in the case of a No Deal scenario. Under the temporary tariff, 87% of total imports to the UK by value would be eligible for tariff free access.

Customs duties will still be levied on some items with a mixture of tariffs and quotas on beef, lamb, pork, poultry and some dairy products as producers move out from under the protective umbrella of the EU. A variety of other goods will also be affected. Trade Policy Minister George Hollingbery said:

”Our priority is securing a deal with the European Union as this will avoid disruption to our global trading relationships. However, we must prepare for all eventualities. If we leave without a deal, we will set the majority of our import tariffs to zero, whilst maintaining tariffs for the most sensitive industries.

”This balanced approach will help to support British jobs and avoid potential price increases that would hit the poorest households the hardest. It represents a modest liberalisation of tariffs and we will be monitoring the economy closely, as well as consulting with businesses, to decide what our tariffs should be after this transitional period.”

The government has also finally provided the tools for businesses to find the 10 digit commodity codes for their products but the belated publication of details has not impressed the Freight Transport Association (FTA) which said the information released also reveals that only a minority of EU trade agreements will be ‘rolled over’ on day one after Brexit. Pauline Bastidon, FTA Head of Global & European Policy said:

“The crucial information released by Government today on tariffs applying to imports into the UK on day one in the event of a no deal Brexit is, frankly, long overdue. This is critical information for importers, who have been kept in the dark for too long in spite of repeated requests for transparency.

“The list of origin countries that will benefit from preferential access is also revealing in itself. With only 13 working days left until the UK’s scheduled departure from the EU, it is deeply concerning to get confirmation at this late stage that only a minority of EU trade agreements will have been rolled over.

”This not only represents an additional cost for importers, but is bad news for exporters too as it will limit access to preferential trade deals too. MPs should bear that in mind when asked to consider a no deal exit later today.”

Photo: Courtesy of the FTA