A raft of household appliances and foods are set to be cheaper and Britons will have more choice under a new post-Brexit tariff regime unveiled by the UK Government.
The Department for International Trade said the new regime – to be called the UK Global Tariff (UKGT) – will see duties axed on around £62bn worth of imports, while tariffs will also be protected for industries such as agriculture, automotive and fishing.
Items such as dishwashers, freezers and even Christmas trees will see zero tariffs under the regime, while the government said cooking products such as cocoa and baking powder will also be levy free.
The UK will also see thousands of tariff variations on products scrapped – including more than 13,000 tariff variations on products including biscuits, waffles, pizzas, quiches, confectionery and spreads.
The UK Global Tariff will replace the European Union’s external tariff on January 1, at the end of the transition period, and will see 60% of trade come in tariff-free under the plan.
The government said around £62bn of imports overall will be levy free, including £30bn on imports to the supply chain.
International trade secretary Liz Truss said: “Our new Global Tariff will benefit UK consumers and households by cutting red tape and reducing the cost of thousands of everyday products.
“With this straightforward approach, we are backing UK industry and helping businesses overcome the unprecedented economic challenges posed by coronavirus.”
The government said it would maintain a 10% tariff on cars, as well as those on agricultural products such as lamb, beef, and poultry to protect British industry.
It has also set a temporary zero tariff rate on some products used to fight Covid-19 which would otherwise charge a levy under the new regime, though it added that most pharmaceuticals and medical devices – including ventilators – are set to be tariff-free.
The 10% tariff on cars could add to the cost of vehicles from European manufacturers if a trade deal with Brussels is not struck by the end of the year.
The tariff schedule will apply to all countries that the UK does not have a trade agreement with.
Talks between the UK and EU have made little progress so far, with government insiders describing the latest negotiating session as “tetchy”.
Post-Brexit tariff regime
Products set to be tariff-free under the UK Government’s new post-Brexit regime include:
- Dishwashers (down from 2.7%).
- Freezers (down from 2.5%).
- Sanitary products and tampons (down from 6.3%).
- Paints (down from 6.5%) and screwdrivers (down from 2.7%).
- Mirrors (down from 4%).
- Scissors and garden shears (down from 4.7%).
- Padlocks (down from 2.7%).
- Cooking products such as baking powder (down from 6.1%), yeast (down from 12%), bay leaves (down from 7%), ground thyme (down from 8.5%) and cocoa powder (down from 8%).
- Christmas trees (down from 2.5%).
More than 100 products to back a sustainable economy will also be tariff-free, such as:
- Thermostats (down from 2.1%).
- Vacuum flasks (down from 6.7%).
- LED lamps (down from 3.7%).
- Bike inner tubes (down from 4%).