Blog

19May

Government publishes new Tariff Schedules

The Government has released the new MFN tariff regime for the UK, the UK Global Tariff (UKGT) regime. It will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff on the end-date of the Transition Period, 1 January 2021. 6,000 tariff lines will be streamlined and simplified by the Government, in an effort to facilitate easier and cheaper goods imports, reduce cost pressures and support UK industry to trade and compete on the global stage. In comparison with the EU Common External Tariff (EU CET), the Government says the UK’s new regime is simpler to use and scraps ‘nuisance’ tariffs (those under 2%).

As the regime will be tailored to the UK market, it will employ the British Pound rather than Euro for added clarity and usability. Extensive consultation with business across the UK was carried out for drawing up the UKGT. Before the regime’s start-date it will be important that businesses familiarise themselves with the new system.

Regarding the life sciences sector including IVDs and medical devices, almost all of these are tariff-free. Some products used to fight COVID-19 will maintain a tariff, however the Government has announced that a temporary waiver of tariffs and VAT on non-EU personal protective equipment, medical devices, disinfectant and medical supplies. These are products key to those on the frontline against the virus across the UK. This measure will be continued upon the regime’s start in 2021 if it remains necessary at that stage.

The goods subject to the relief must be imported by or on behalf of an organisation in the UK who are a state organisation such as public and state bodies or charitable or philanthropic organisation such as those registered with the Charities Commission, hospitals, groups dedicated to the relief of distress like the British Red Cross. Goods such as gauze, diagnostic reagents (for COVID-19 testing), swab and viral transport medium sets, formic acid and test kits themselves are all included in the relief. Companies or individuals importing relief goods on behalf of the aforementioned organisations must obtain authorisation from NIRU, find this contact here.

A full list of the goods to which this relief applies has been published, called the ‘COVID-19 Commodity Codes List’ and is available at here.

Other IVD/Medical Device Tariff Updates:

Malaria Diagnostic Test Kits

No Tariff Change

Diagnostic or laboratory reagents on a backing, prepared diagnostic or laboratory reagents whether or not on a backing, and certified reference materials (excl. compound diagnostic reagents designed to be administered to the patient, blood-grouping reagents, animal blood prepared for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic uses and vaccines, toxins, cultures of micro-organisms and similar products) 

No Tariff Change

Reagents for determining blood groups or blood factors

No Tariff Change

 

BIVDA is involved in the progress of free trade talks with the United States, and the potential talks with Japan, through membership of the Life Sciences ETAG, and will continue to update members and seek feedback as these talks continue. 

 

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