• 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.
Author

Jessica's practice focuses on international trade and anti-bribery work, encompassing customs, export control and sanctions matters. Jessica's trade work includes advising international clients on fast-moving and evolving EU and UN sanctions, notably in respect of Iran and Russia, and on compliance with UK and EU export controls. Her trade experience also includes advising on tariff classification and customs valuations. Jessica's anti-bribery experience includes assisting with investigations, and advising clients on compliance with anti-bribery laws. Jessica has also taken a lead role in monitoring Brexit-related developments; analysing how they will affect the UK's trading position generally, and clients' businesses specifically. She has helped clients begin to conduct risk assessments of how Brexit will impact their businesses, and has assisted them in developing tailored Brexit strategies. Jessica also presents at various seminars, webinars, and conferences on the complexities of Brexit. Jessica advises global clients on complex issues arising from international transactions and works with clients across a number of sectors including pharmaceuticals, defence, finance, aviation, energy, and telecommunications. Jessica has also worked previously in Paris, and is fluent in French.

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