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Government Amends Temporary Tariffs for Lorries, Bioethanol and Clothing Products

  • United Kingdom
  • Brexit
  • Competition, EU and Trade


On 8 October 2019, the Government announced changes to the UK’s temporary tariff regime for certain products in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Under the proposals, which were first published on 13 March 2019 , the Government intended to introduce zero-tariffs for 87 percent of total imports to the UK by value, but retain tariffs on imported goods in certain sectors, including agriculture, automotive, clothing, ethanol and fertiliser for up to 12 months post-Brexit. The regime will apply to imports not just from the EU, but also from all other jurisdictions with which the UK will not have concluded separate free trade agreements. Currently imports from the EU into the UK are tariff-free and, absent the proposed temporary tariff regime, import duties would apply post-Brexit at the rates set out in the UK’s draft WTO schedules.

Following discussions with industry and consumer groups, the Government has decided to make the following three specific amendments to the UK’s temporary tariff regime:

• reduce the tariff rate on heavy goods vehicles (“HGV”) from the proposed 22 percent to 10 percent

• increase the tariffs on bioethanol fuel to 6.5 percent (which corresponds to the current tariff applied to imports from third countries)

• apply tariffs of between 8 to 10 percent to additional clothing products. However, no tariffs will apply to products from some developing countries (including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bolivia and Armenia)


The Government’s temporary tariff regime will come into force only if the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement. The regime is intended to apply for up to 12 months while a full consultation on a permanent approach to tariffs is undertaken from January 2020.