Last reviewed 29 May 2020

Recently, International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, introduced the UK Global Tariff (UKGT), which will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff (CET) on 1 January 2021, which she explained would be easier to use and provide a lower tariff regime.

A guide published by the Department for International Trade (DIT), and available at www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-tariffs-from-1-january-2021, suggests that the UKGT will be simpler for traders as it scraps the complex calculations which currently result in thousands of tariff variations.

However, the introduction of the new system has left at least one major business group in the UK concerned as the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has warned that a 10% tariff on new trucks will stall economic recovery.

The levies will make it harder for firms to invest in new, cleaner vehicles, the Association’s Chief Executive, Richard Burnett, argued.

“The Government says it’s confident of securing a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU,” he said, “but if it fails to do so this truck tariff will be a crippling blow for hauliers — putting £10,000 on the price of a new lorry.”

All lorries supplied from the EU attract zero tariff until the end of the transition period, which is scheduled to be 31 December 2020.

If no deal is in place by then, the two sides are expected to work under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules with the UK introducing its UKGT, including a 10% tariff on rigid lorries and on tractor units for articulated lorries.