FDF urges against UK temporary tariff regime updates
The government has published an update to the UK’s temporary tariff regime for a no-deal Brexit, but the FDF’s Policy Manager warns that it will be “catastrophic.”
If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, rates of customs duty (tariffs) on imports into the UK from the EU and the rest of the world, are going to change. The UK government has introduced a temporary tariff regime and the temporary rates will be in place for up to 12 months whilst the government develops a permanent plan following a public consultation.
Under the temporary regime, 88 percent of total imports to the UK by value would be eligible for tariff free access. A review process will be put in place, which will come into force on exit day, to make changes to the temporary tariff regime if necessary.
Businesses and consumers will be able to provide feedback on the impact of the temporary tariff regime through an online feedback form. The government will then review the evidence and consider whether any changes need to be made.
In response to the updates to the temporary tariff regime, Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Policy Manager Dominic Goudie, said: “As FDF said in March, adjusting to this new schedule is both confusing and complex for businesses. This is not going to create a big win for consumers. The investment made right across the supply chain in preparing for a no-deal Brexit means prices will likely increase regardless of the government’s tariff decision.
“New tariffs will apply to some foods that are currently imported tariff-free, yet no tariffs will be applied to goods that cross the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. At the same time, UK exports to the EU will face the EU’s prohibitively high most-favoured-nation tariffs. These changes to tariffs facing both imports and exports will lead to massive trade distortions that will be bad for business and consumers alike.
Goudie explained that food and drink manufacturers who trade with the EU are likely to question their relationships with the UK.
“Government must avoid a catastrophic no-deal scenario that would result in these tariffs entering into force, so that they can undertake an open and transparent consultation on future UK tariffs,” he added.