UK Global Tariff

The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) has been released today. UKGT will be the UK’s new most-favoured nation (MFN) tariff regime (replacing the EU’s Common External Tariff) on 1 January 2021, unless an exception applies. For example, the goods you’re importing:

are from a developing country that pays less or no duty because it’s part of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences;
are from a country that has a trade agreement with the UK; or
have a relief or tariff suspension that’s operated by the UK.



UKGT is broadly in line with EU tariff schedule, though it introduces a number of changes, including:

removing tariffs on products which are used in UK production, not made in the UK or are a nuisance tariff of below 2%;
rounding tariffs down (to the nearest 2% below 20%, 5% between 20-50%, and 10% for tariffs over 50%) and moving complex agricultural tariffs to a single percentage; and
removing the EU’s Meursing table of tariffs to allow the scrapping of thousands of tariff variations on products.
UKGT also removes tariffs on £30 billion worth of imports entering UK supply chains.



The UKGT also provides a level of continuity and protection, maintaining tariffs to a number of UK sectors and industries, including:

tariffs on agricultural products such as lamb, beef, and poultry to be maintained;
10% tariff on cars to be maintained;
tariffs for the vast majority of ceramic products to be maintained; and
maintaining some tariffs which support imports from the world’s poorest countries who have preferential access to the UK market.


Almost all pharmaceuticals and most medical devices (including ventilators) are tariff free in the UKGT.
While some products used to fight Coronavirus maintain a tariff, the UK has introduced a temporary zero tariff rate on these products. This relief waives the tariff and VAT for PPE, medical devices, disinfectant and medical supplies from non-EU countries.


Key takeaways

The UKGT is estimated to ensure that around 60% of trade will come into the UK tariff free on WTO terms or through existing preferential access from January 2021. Future trade agreements will increase this proportion.
The UKGT will provide important leverage in future trade talks with EU, US, New Zealand, Japan and other key trading partners.
The UKGT increases the importance of getting a trade deal with the EU to avoid an increase in business costs and a negative impact on the wider economy.

Click here to access the full UK Global Tariff schedule.

Future Fund scheme launches tomorrow

The UK government’s new Future Fund scheme will open for applications from Wednesday 20 May. Aimed at start-ups and high growth businesses, the scheme will provide convertible loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal matched funding from private investors. The scheme is currently expected to run until the end of September 2020. Take a look at full details of the eligibility criteria.

Extension to CLBILS announced

HM Treasury have announced that the lending limit for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will be extended from £50m to £200m. Companies borrowing more than £50 million through CLBILS will be subject to restrictions on dividend payments, senior pay and share buy-backs during the period of the loan, including a ban on dividend payments and cash bonuses, except where they were previously agreed. The expanded loans will be available from 26 May.

Take a look at our response to the announcement and review the full release from HM Treasury here. See and share our Twitter and LinkedIn posts with your members.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme details confirmed

HMRC has announced that the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will launch online on Tuesday 26 May. HMRC has published online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep. SMEs can find out more about this on GOV.UK.