The Department for International Trade (DIT) has published details of how to check the tariffs that will apply to goods being imported when the UK Global Tariff (UKGT) takes effect on 1 January 2021, replacing the EU’s Common External Tariff (CET).

The Government ran a consultation to inform development of the UKGT with details of the nearly 1400 responses received available at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/885942/Public_consultation_on_the_UK_Global_Tariff_summary_of_public_responses.pdf.

International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, explains: “The public consultation demonstrated the UK’s intention to simplify and tailor our tariff regime. It offered respondents the opportunity to provide views on how we create a tariff schedule that reflects the needs of UK business.”

It is, she argues, simpler, easier to use and a lower tariff regime than the EU’s CET.

The UKGT cuts administrative costs for businesses by getting rid of needless tariffs, Ms Truss states. It rounds tariffs down, making them simpler for traders to use, and scraps the complex calculations which result in thousands of tariff variations.

In its guide, available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-tariffs-from-1-january-2021, the DIT makes clear that the UKGT will apply to all goods imported into the UK unless: an exception applies, such as a relief or tariff suspension; the goods come from countries that are part of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP); or the country imported from has a trade agreement with the UK.

The guide also provides access to a UK Global Tariff tool which will enable traders to check the tariffs that will apply to goods they import from 1 January 2021. This can be searched using an eight-digit commodity code, a product description or a combination of both.

It is also possible to download the full UKGT into Excel.

The tariff and VAT have been removed on some goods in connection with tackling coronavirus. This will be reviewed throughout 2020 and will continue to apply in 2021 if necessary.

Tariffs which are subject to relief measures because of COVID-19 can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pay-no-import-duty-and-vat-on-medical-supplies-equipment-and-protective-garments-covid-19.

Last reviewed 20 May 2020