The Government has opened an online public consultation on what tariff strategy will be best for UK businesses and consumers post-Brexit.

A ‘UK Global Tariff Policy’ for imports into the UK will take effect after the UK leaves the European Union’s Common External Tariff at the end of the year.

The new tariff policy will form the UK’s Most Favoured Nation (MFN) schedule with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which will come into force on 1 January 2021.

The schedule will outline what tariffs will apply to imports from any country with which the UK does not have a free trade agreement.

If a trade agreement isn’t reached with the EU, the new UK MFN tariff schedule will apply for imports from the continent - meaning that EU goods imports would have the same tariffs in place as for Bolivian or Cuban goods.

In line with the Northern Ireland protocol, special arrangements will apply to goods entering Northern Ireland.

The Government is hoping that the new ‘UK Global Tariff’ will: “Ensure UK businesses compete on fair terms with the rest of the world whilst benefitting households through greater choice and lower prices. Ultimately, this will also help to make it easier to trade, drive up investment, and deliver more quality jobs across the UK.”

The Government is seeking views on:

  • Simplifying and tailoring the tariff to suit UK businesses and households, such as removing tariffs of less than 2.5% and rounding tariffs down to the nearest 2.5%, 5% or 10% band.
  • Removing tariffs on key inputs to production which could reduce costs for UK manufacturers. 
  • Removing tariffs where the UK has zero or limited domestic production which could help to lower prices for consumers.

The consultation opens as the Government begins setting out details of its approach to negotiating new free trade agreements with countries including the US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, as well as the European Union.

To contribute, click on the link below and scroll down to the heading “Ways to respond” with one option of “responding online”.

The online consultation is open until 5 March.

The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) is collating the views of member companies who prefer to contribute as an industry body rather than individually.

Photo by William Picard from FreeImages