The UK Government periodically looks at introducing unilateral tariff suspensions, aimed at helping businesses remain competitive in the global marketplace. It does this by suspending, either in whole or in part, import duties on certain goods, normally those used as inputs into domestic production processes. Suspensions will usually be implemented for a 2-year period.
The UK Government has opened a new duty suspension application window, open until 11.59pm on Sunday 6 August 2023.
This represents an opportunity for members to identify where they are currently paying import tariffs on raw materials or goods and to request a suspension. It is not a simple process – in fact, it requires a quite a lot of evidence being gathered and presented – but, if members are paying significant sums for certain tariffs, it could lead to possible savings for individual companies and for the sector as a whole.
Applications submitted as part of this process need to meet both of the following criteria:
- “The product you are seeking a suspension on should not traded between persons who are related parties (defined in Regulation 8(4) of the Customs Tariff (Suspension of Import Duty Rates) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020) in circumstances which would not enable other United Kingdom businesses to benefit from the suspension.
- The same product (falling under the same commodity code) or similar products, should not be produced in the UK or Crown Dependencies, not produced in sufficient quantities, or production should be temporarily insufficient. (Products other than raw products are taken to be produced in the UK or a Crown Dependency if they are partly or wholly manufactured in the UK or a Crown Dependency. Simple assembly operations, repacking products, or preparing products for shipment or transportation would not normally be considered production processes).”
With inflation running high, the Government is particularly keen this year to look at how this process could help drive it down. As such, it has amended the rules for this year’s application round by:
- Removing the £10,000 duty savings minimum threshold: applicants are no longer asked to demonstrate savings of £10,000. Duty savings will be considered on a case-by–case basis.
- Online application form: to make it easier to make submissions.
- Producing more detailed guidance: a detailed user guide has been developed to help increase the number of high-quality applications.
Applications can be submitted by individual companies or trade associations. However, the raw cost data is obviously only held by companies.
FIAUK encourages members to look at where they are paying for material tariffs and conclude whether there is scope to apply for duty suspensions. More details on the scheme can be found here.
If you have any questions or queries about the 2023 duty suspension application window, contact the UK Trade team directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.