The UK’s Tank Storage Association (TSA) has ‘cautiously welcomed’ the UK government’s new UK Global Tariff (UKGT), which was published on 19 May 2020 and will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff in the UK on 1 January 2021.
The new tariff will apply to imported goods from countries with which the UK does not have a preferential trading relationship with, and the government says that it is tailored to the UK economy and will make it easier and cheaper for businesses to import goods. It adds that it will cut red tape and reduce unnecessary barriers to trade.
As part of efforts to develop the UKGT, the UK Department for International Trade launched a consultation with industry on 5 March 2020, in which TSA was involved.
TSA Executive Director Peter Davidson said: ‘The UK’s bulk liquid storage sector supports growth and prosperity by importing, exporting, storing and blending liquid products that are integral to our daily lives, from transport and heating fuels to chemicals, agricultural and food-grade products. It is good to see the government listen to sectors, such as ours, that play a significant and leading role in international trade. Looking ahead, we will continue working closely and constructively with the government on behalf of our sector to ensure that we can continue to deliver and thrive.’
TSA spokesperson Nunzia Florio told Tank Storage Magazine that the TSA believes that frictionless and efficient movement of goods and services in and out of the UK, zero tariffs where appropriate and no delays at the point of import or export are all vital, and added that the announcement goes some way to provide clarity on post-Brexit trading arrangements. However, it will be up to individual companies to assess the detail and any impacts.
The government says that the new tariffs will be much simpler, including by scrapping unnecessary tariff variations, and rounding down tariffs to standardised percentages. Other tariffs will simply be eliminated, to expand tariff-free trade to cover 60% of UK imports from January 2021.
For example, the tariff for light oils will be rounded down from 4.7% to 4%. Tariffs for most fuel oils will fall from 3.7% to 2%. So-called nuisance tariffs, those under 2%, have been scrapped altogether, such as the 0.7% tariff on propane and butane from non-EU countries. Some imports, such as non-EU jet fuel and diesel, will continue to have a 0% tariff.
More information about the new tariffs can be found on the UK government website.