The United Kingdom Global Tariff (UKGT) – Sector Impacts


With the change from EU CET to UKGT several different sectors will experience serious trade changes

The post-Brexit trade plans of the UK are a major shift from the past. The European Union Common External Tariff (EU CET) had many different complexities and varied systems that the new United Kingdom Global Tariff (UKGT) wants to streamline. But what will this mean for specific industries? Which sectors will see change, and which will stay the same?

Food & Drink – Variations vanish

One area that made tariffs complex conundrums under the EU CET was the vast numbers of variants in different product types. Different specific types of pizza. Particular forms of quiche. Certain kinds of jam. Many of these will now be removed by the UKGT, as 13,000 specific variants will be removed and their constituent elements will be consolidated into broader groups.

Food & Drink – Tariffs terminated

For many different products, the food and drink sector will find that imports from all around the world will become noticeably cheaper, as tariffs are completely removed regardless of country of origin. These include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Pistachios (1.6% tariff under EU CET)
  • Freezers (2.5% tariff under EU CET)
  • Dishwashers (2.7% tariff under EU CET)
  • Vanilla (6% tariff under EU CET)
  • Bay leaves (7% tariff under EU CET)
  • Cocoa powder (8% tariff under EU CET)
  • Ground thyme (8.5% tariff under EU CET)
  • Yeast (12% tariff under EU CET)
  • Plantain (16% tariff under EU CET)
Food and Drink – No more measurement table misery

Food and drink will experience a dramatic simplification of their tariff arrangements, thanks to the abolition of the EU CET’s ‘measurement table’ system. Under this method, products made of other products often had highly complicated tariff regulations, depending on how much of the weight of a certain product contained item X, or what amount of product Y contained item Z etc. The UKGT will be abolishing the use of the measuring table system, and will be providing much clearer and more concise regulations for products of all kinds.

Food and Drink – Tariff retentions

Some sectors of the food and drink industry will see tariffs remain in place for global trade under UKGT in much the same way as they were under EU CET. These include tariffs that will continue on lamb, beef, poultry, and fish, as well as processed animal products. However, while many products will still have tariffs on them, there will be general overall reductions. Agriculture will see 23% of the items within its sector as tariff free, and the average tariff on the remainder will be 16.1%.

Household B2C items

Several household non-food items often sold in supermarkets or by B2C ecommerce providers will see tariffs completely vanish under the UKGT. These include:

  • School pencils (1.7% under EU CET)
  • Gardening tools (1.7% under EU CET)
  • Mirrors (4% under EU CET)
  • Scissors (4.7% tariff under EU CET)
  • Christmas Trees (2.5% under EU CET)
  • Sanitary products and tampons (6.5% under EU CET)
  • Bedclothes (12% tariff under EU CET)
Manufacturing and renewable industry – tariff terminations

The UK’s £30 billion worth of manufacturing item related imports will see dramatic tariff reductions for several different components. This is both aimed at the industrial production sector generally, as well as the renewable sector where green technology is being given an extra boost. Overall 57% of industrial related items will be tariff free. Products and items being targeted for total tariff termination here include:

  • Spanners and wrenches (1.7% under EU CET)
  • Thermostats (2.1% under EU CET)
  • Tools for tapping and threading metal (2.7% under EU CET)
  • Screwdrivers (2.7% under EU CET)
  • LED lamps (3.7% under EU CET)
  • Screws and bolts (3.7% under EU CET)
  • Bike inner tubes (4% under EU CET)
  • Copper tubing (5.2% under EU CET)
  • Paint (6.5% under EU CET)
  • Vacuum flasks (6.7% under EU CET)
Manufacturing and Industry – Tariff retentions

As with other sectors, many industrial and manufacturing tariffs will be retained under the UKGT, however there will be an overall reduction. On products that do have tariffs, the average will be 2.5%, a reduction from the 3.6% under the EU CET. Among the biggest sectors to see their tariffs unchanged is the automobile manufacturing sector, as imported vehicles will continue to have a 10% tariff.

Whatever sector your business operates in, managing the shifts and changes in trade rules and tariff settings is much easier when it can be co-ordinated through a single system. To find out more about how an end-to-end business solution can make it easier to import, talk to one of OrderWise’s sales consultants today on 01522 704083.