The Department for International Trade has today launched a public consultation to inform the UK’s new global tariff policy.
The government is developing a new UK Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff schedule which will enter into force on 1 January 2021.
Known as the UK Global Tariff, it seeks to ensure British businesses compete on fair terms with the rest of the world.
The consultation is now open online for four weeks from today (6 February), closing on 5 March.
Goods coming into the UK will no longer be subject to the EU’s Common External Tariff as they have been for nearly 50 years.
Instead, the UK’s new Global Tariff Policy will come into effect on 1 January 2021 for imports from any country the UK does not have a free trade agreement with.
This comes as the government sets out details of the UK’s approach to negotiating free trade agreements with countries including the US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “The UK has left the EU and it is time for us to look forward to our future as an independent, global champion of free trade.
“It is vitally important that we now move away from complex tariff schedule imposed on us by the European Union.
“High tariffs impinge on businesses and raise costs for consumers. This is our opportunity to set our own tariff strategy that is right for UK consumers and businesses across our country.”
As part of the consultation, the government is seeking views on simplifying and tailoring the tariff to suit UK businesses, such as removing tariffs of less than 2.5% and rounding tariffs down to the nearest 2.5%, 5% or 10% band.
It is also seeking views on removing tariffs on key inputs to production which could reduce costs for UK manufacturers, and removing tariffs where the UK has zero or limited domestic production which could lower prices for consumers.