- In March 2019, the UK government published details of a temporary tariff regime, which will apply in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement.
- The temporary regime has been designed to minimise costs to businesses and consumers and at the same time protect vulnerable industries. Accordingly, 87 per cent of total imports to the UK by value would be eligible for tariff free access.
- The Department for International Trade (“DIT“) has confirmed that there are currently no plans to amend the temporary regime, however the Government remains responsive to the needs of businesses and other stakeholders.
- To that end, the tariff regime will initially apply for a temporary period of up to 12 months and a public consultation will be conducted during this time in order to take into account business needs when formulating the permanent tariff regime.
- In a no-deal scenario, the tariffs under the temporary arrange will apply equally to all trading partners, with the exception of countries with which a trade agreement has been agreed as well as 70 developing countries that will have preferential access to the UK market.
Actions for UK importers and exporters in no-deal scenario
- It is critical for businesses to prepare for the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit. If Britain departs the EU without an agreement, UK importers and exporters will need to apply the temporary tariff rates, which can be accessed here.
- The DIT is setting up a “UK Trade Helpdesk”, which is not yet live, but will serve as a contact point for international exporters in respect of information on tariffs, quotas, measures and import procedures to minimise disruption to their trading activities with the UK.