Today is the deadline by which an extension to the Transition Period would have needed to be agreed. But the UK’s already formally rejected it. So, where does that leave us? BOSS explore more in their Brexit update regarding what might happen next.
In this month’s Bulletin:
- Brexit update
- UK Global Tariff
- New border arrangements
- Yet more customs support funding
- Latest publications
1. Brexit update
On Sunday, a team of 20 negotiators reportedly arrived in Brussels to start a ramped-up round of intensive trade talks this week. A progress review will take place in August. Michel Barnier has referred to October as being “the moment of truth”, but sources close to the negotiating team have said the negotiators are keen to reach an earlier agreement in order to provide businesses with time to prepare. However, the UK negotiators have been instructed to continue to refuse EU access to UK fishing waters or that it signs up to ‘level playing field’ rules.
If a deal isn’t reached, the UK will leave the Customs Union and Single Market on 31 December 2020. From 1 January 2021, the UK Global Tariff will apply.
2. UK Global Tariff
Without a free trade agreement with the EU, January 2021 will see the UK’s trading regime default to WTO rules. Under the system of Most Favoured Nations, the UK Global Tariff will come into force to replace the EU Common External Tariff. It will apply to trade with countries around the world that the UK does not have an agreement with. This could, of course, include the EU.
The intention is that the UK Global Tariff reflects the needs of the British economy. In some areas tariffs are being maintained to protect UK producers. For example, they will still be charged on most types of vehicles coming in to the country to protect the UK automotive sector (usually 10%) and also on most agricultural products.
But the Government is removing all tariffs below 2.5%, which it refers to as ‘nuisance tariffs’. It is also cutting back on the number of different tariffs applied. So, some of the tariffs the UK has been charging as part of the EU will disappear – in areas, for example, where there isn’t that much domestic UK production that needs protecting.
47% of all products will have zero tariffs.
Use the UK Global Tariff Tool, by clicking the button below, to find out the tariffs that will apply to goods you import from 1 January 2021. You can also use this tool to check the difference between any tariffs you currently pay and what you’ll pay from January onwards.
Paper and board remains at 0%. Some items – for example, photographic film – which were tariffed at 6.5% under the Common External Tariff will be reduced to 0% under the new regime.
3. New border arrangements
As we’ve always said, the application of tariffs is merely one barrier to trade. Whether a Free Trade Agreement is reached or not, there will be increased barriers and costs to trade.
The Government’s original plan was to introduce full border checks on January 1. However, after intensive lobbying by business organisations already concerned about the impact of COVID-19, Michael Gove this month announced a new plan.
Border control will now be introduced in three stages, which will begin on 1 January 2021 (under both a deal or no-deal scenario).
Officials concede that goods flowing to the EU from the UK are likely to face full checks as they enter France.
4. Yet more customs support funding
£50 million has been added this month to the grant fund for customs agent recruitment, training and IT. This is in addition to the £34 million already made available, which the Financial Times recently reported has been taken up by just 4000 people. Visit the Funding Portal (managed by PWC), by clicking here.
Our partners, the Institute of Export and International Trade are offering the below courses which are all eligible for 100% Government grant funding.
- Introduction to Exporting
- Introduction to Importing
- Advanced Exporting
- Advanced Importing
- Customs Procedures & Documentation
- Step by Step guidance on completing Customs Declarations
- Post Brexit Planning & Compliance
- Incoterms 2020
- Customs Classification and Tariff Codes
- Understanding Rules of Origin, Free Trade Agreements & Export Preference
- New Computerised Transit System (NCTS)
- Customs Warehousing, Excise Warehousing & Temporary Storage
To find out more on these courses, please click here.
5. Latest publications
You can read the latest Brexit publications by clicking here.