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'No deal' Brexit tariffs - FAQs

The Government has today announced a range of temporary import tariffs which would come into effect if the UK leaves the EU on March 29 without a deal in place.  How should you be preparing for a ‘no deal’ Brexit?

The British Chamber of Commerce has produced an FAQ checklist to help businesses plan for Brexit.

We’ve also put together the following FAQs about the ‘no deal’ Brexit tariffs for our members:


What are the tariffs?

Tariffs will apply to 13% of goods imported into the UK. These include:

  • A mixture of tariffs and quotas on beef, lamb, pork, poultry and some dairy to support farmers and producers who have historically been protected through high EU tariffs
  • Tariffs would be retained to provide support for UK producers against unfair global trading practices, such as dumping and state subsidies. This includes certain ceramics, fertiliser and fuel products
  • The government offers preferential access to the UK market for developing countries. To ensure that access for developing countries is maintained, tariffs would be retained on goods, including bananas, raw cane sugar, and certain kinds of fish.
  • Retaining a number of tariffs on finished vehicles in order to support the automotive industry. Car makers relying on EU supply chains would not face additional tariffs on car parts imported from the EU to prevent disruption to supply chains

Will my business be affected?

The Government says British businesses will not pay customs duties on the ‘majority’ of imported goods in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Under the temporary tariffs, the Government says 87% of total imports to the UK by value would be eligible for tariff-free access – up from the current figure of 80%.


When will the proposed tariffs come into effect?

They come into force at 11pm on March 29 2019  – the date set for the UK to leave the EU if no deal is agreed or if an extension is not agreed for the UK’s withdrawal.


How long is temporary?

The Government says it will closely monitor the effects of the proposed tariffs on the UK economy and they would apply for up to 12 months while a full review and consultation took place on a permanent solution.

What about the Irish border?

A temporary arrangement will be put in place to avoid new checks and controls on goods at the Northern Ireland land border. This means the temporary import tariffs will not apply to goods crossing from Ireland into Northern Ireland.


Where can I find out exactly how much my business will have to pay?

The Government has launched a UK Trade Tariff tool with the new customs duty rates if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement. These rates will comes into force at 11pm on March 29 2019.

The tool can be found online at:


Are there any steps I can take to prepare?

We’ve taken advice from one of the world leading logistics firms Kuehne + Nagel who suggest one of the simplest things you can do whether you’re importing, or exporting is to apply for an EORI number.  To date this has been used if you’re dealing with companies outside the EU but in a no-deal scenario you may need one.  Having one in advance will mean you’ll beat the rush. 

Once you’ve got it, you can apply for a TSP (Transitional Simplified Procedure) number which will help avoid delays at borders.

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