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Autumn Statement – Duty Tariffs

Temporarily suspension on duty tariffs on over 100 types of goods imported to UK

24 Nov 2022

The chancellor announced in his autumn statement that he has temporarily suspended the duty tariffs on over 100 types of goods imported to UK for a period of two years. The temporary relief is designed to ease the pressure on import costs for UK manufacturing businesses and to help the economy which is already in recession as a result of higher inflation and lower growth. Businesses are already struggling with increased energy and transportation costs and weakened exchange rates.

The decision by the Chancellor will remove tariffs as high as 18% from a wide range of goods including aluminium, motor vehicle parts, chemicals and ingredients used by food producers.

The duty suspensions are expected to take effect from January 2023. These temporary suspensions are available to all UK businesses.

Although all the major global economies are struggling, the UK is performing worst among all the G7 countries. Brexit can be blamed for part of the problem as it led to the introduction of economic barriers with important trading partners.

UK businesses report that they are losing trade as they no longer have access to the EU’s single market.

The temporary suspension of the tariffs is a positive step to generate growth in the UK economy in the short run and address the issues resulting from Brexit. However, the government is only able to suspend these tariffs as a result of Brexit.  Previously we had no control over the tariffs that applied to the EU single market. Post Brexit the UK is now able to control its tariffs, this is seen by the government as a positive outcome of Brexit, and hugely beneficial for trade on a worldwide basis.

There is a renewed call from businesses for the ‘Swiss style’ Brexit agreement with the European Union, if it is possible considering various struggling economies in Europe perhaps a new deal can be reached. Any such agreement if agreed, would help businesses trade freely with the rest of Europe by avoiding physical border checks and paying high tariffs and duties for the movement of the goods and services. These tariffs and duties can sometimes double costs for businesses and cripple profit margins.

Let’s hope the government takes positive action to address the issues faced by businesses and support their essential contribution to UK economic growth.

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