New tariff suspension scheme for the UK

To reduce costs for UK firms that import certain goods from abroad, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has announced a new tariff suspension scheme. The aim, according to a recent press release, is designed to make UK companies more competitive.

The published details of the scheme are reproduced below:

From next month, firms based in the UK or Crown Dependencies will be able to apply for duties on goods they import to be temporarily reduced or withdrawn. Once a suspension has been introduced, all UK importers will be able to benefit from the reduced rate.

The new scheme will allocate suspensions based on the needs of firms in the UK and the wider economy, on any import that satisfies the selection criteria set out on GOV.UK.

In recognition of the challenges surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, existing duty suspensions that the government rolled over from the EU will be extended beyond 31 December 2021 to ensure business certainty.

Businesses will be able to apply from June 1 and the suspensions are expected to apply from early 2022.

The government are no doubt concerned by inflationary pressures building in the UK economy as demand-led activity starts to boost output.

There must also be supply-side pressures as industry starts to assess the financial impact of EU tariffs following our exit from the EU.

Nevertheless, this intervention is welcomed and readers whose businesses have incurred additional import costs following Brexit would be wise to follow the DIT announcements published on the gov.uk site.

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