Thursday, 21 May 2020
By Bethan Wilkins
On 19 May, the UK Government announced the UK’s new Global Tariff Schedule. This is designed to replace the EU external tariff regime we currently still use, when we leave the Customs Union at the end of the year. The tariffs would apply to all third country imports into the UK, except for those delivered under free trade or other similar agreements.
Tariffs on domestic pigs and most pork products will remain equivalent to the existing tariffs implemented under the EU regime. There has been some minor downward simplification of tariffs on some processed products. Overall, there remains a significant level of protection from imported pork, though of course the actual level of market access potential suppliers have will depend on how trade agreements with the EU and US develop.
The tariffs on pork are higher than those published in the emergency “no deal” schedule last year. Politically, the government will want to maintain the incentive to achieve a deal with the EU as well as favourable trading conditions with other key nations in the future.
With this in mind, it is important to remember that upon leaving the Customs Union, we would be able to amend the proposed tariffs if a need to do so arose. The UK is a significant net importer of pork and without low/zero tariff access for some key suppliers, pork prices for consumers would rise.