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Government launches new UK Global Tariff regime for products coming in to UK

Tom Bottomley
19 May 2020

The government has today announced the new UK Global Tariff regime that will be applied to products imported into the UK from 1 January, 2021.

The tariffs will apply to imports from countries where the UK does not have a trade deal.

For the fashion and textile sector there are almost 1,200 tariff lines and, under the new regime, 67% of those will remain unchanged.

Practically all fashion lines will remain at 12%, while the vast majority of yarns and fabrics will continue to have an import duty of between 4-8%.

Some 15% of fashion and textile tariffs have been simplified. The import duty on silk ties, for example, has been rounded off to 6% from 6.3%, while the rate on bras is falling from 6.5% to 6%.

In total, 203 tariff lines will drop to zero but, in the vast majority of cases, this will only be on products where the UK has little or no manufacturing. For example, the import duty on silk yarn will fall from 4% to 0%, and from terry towelling fabric from 8% to 0%.

CEO of the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT), Adam Mansell, said: “The UKFT campaigned vigorously against the last proposed UK tariff regime, as it failed to provide UK manufacturers with a level playing field and, at the same time, threatened to increase the amount of very cheap, disposable fashion imported from overseas.

"We welcome the new UK Global Tariff regime precisely as it addresses our two fundamental concerns. Our UK manufacturing base has received assurance that it can continue to trade on an equal footing and, while consumers will still be able to benefit from the duty free arrangements with countries such as Bangladesh, there is not going to be a huge influx of super cheap fashion with all the environmental damage that could entail.

However, we also urge the government to reach a positive conclusion to the negotiations with the EU – a market that accounts for 76% of our exports and 35% our imports.’’

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