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Brexit tariffs trap

12 January 2021 / Richard Asquith
Issue: 4775 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
Tariffs trap

Key points

  • The no-tariff deal on goods is subject to complex rules of origin requirements.
  • Proof of the origin and claims in customs declarations must be made.
  • A claim for preferential or zero tariffs is made in the customs declaration.
  • There could be problems for UK and EU sellers whose goods originate in China or the rest of the world.

As part of the last-gasp EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement published just a few days before the Brexit transition period ended on 31 December 2020 both sides agreed to a no-tariff deal on goods.

However this is to misname the breakthrough because more precisely it is a preferential tariff deal subject to complex rules of origin requirements. This means that many supply chains operating through the UK to the EU will fall foul of the tariff exemption and can expect uneconomical customs duties to be levied on...

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