ON March 13 the UK Government revealed the tariffs and quotas that would apply to goods imported into the UK in the event of a no‐deal Brexit ‐ circumstances under which the UK’s relationship with the EU must default to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
Under those rules, the UK must treat each of the 1 6 4 countries that are members of the WTO equally unless a trade deal has been agreed with a country or trading block. This means that a tariff applied to imported goods must be the same, wherever those goods come from.
The UK has the right to decide what those tariffs are for different products, provided they are below the maximum level set by the WTO. Any WTO member can also set a volume limit below which tariffs are set at zero or lower rates ‐ known as a Tariff Rate Quota.
The same principles apply to the EU, but of course the EU already has set tariff and TRQ levels for imports from non‐EU members with which the EU does not have a trade agreement.
This means that in the event of a no‐deal Brexit the EU cannot allow tariff rates for products
imported from the UK which differ from those applied for all other countries with which it does not have a deal.
While the UK must charge the same tariff on imports from any country, it is possible to set standards that ensure food safety is not compromised ‐ known as Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) standards. The UK has already submitted these standards to the WTO where they have been challenged by many countries, including the USA.
The tables below and on page 3 give comparisons between UK no‐deal rates and those which apply for imports to the EU for a selection of agricultural products. Where tariff rates are expressed as a percentage, this represents a percentage of the value of the product ‐ for example, if the market price for a product was € 5 per kilogram and the tariff rate was 4 0 % + € 1 /kg, the tax applied on imports would be 40%X€5 + €1 which is a total of €3 or 60% of the product value. Figures based on 2 0 1 6 ‐2 0 1 8 average prices are courtesy of AHDB.
Click here to view the tariffs online…