UK Global Tariff announced

The UK Government has today announced the import tariffs that will apply to goods entering the UK from countries with which the UK has no trade agreement.

The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) will apply from 1 January 2021 when the UK-EU transition period ends, replacing the EU's Common External Tariff (EU CET)

Seafood products have been assigned tariffs that are either identical or slightly reduced compared to the EU CET. Tariff reductions are the result of the rounding down from the EU CET to align them with newly introduced simplified tariff bandings. The tariff reductions range between 0 and 4% over all seafood product descriptions, with an average reduction of 0.7% for each seafood product description.

Examples of imported seafood and a comparison of the current EU and new UK tariffs

Commodity code Product description Current tariff (EU CET) Tariff from 1 January 2021 (UKGT)
03025110 Fresh or chilled cod "Gadus morhua" 12.0% 12.0%
03034985 Frozen tunas of the genus "Thunnus" (excl. tunas for industrial processing or preservation and Thunnus alalunga, Thunnus albacares, Thunnus obesus, Thunnus thynnus, Thunnus orientalis and Thunnus maccoyii) 22.0% 20.0%
03047500 Frozen fillets of Alaska pollack "Theragra chalcogramma" 13.7% 12.0%
03063590 Cold-water shrimps and prawns "Pandalus spp.", whether in shell or not, live, fresh or chilled 12.0% 12.0%
03061792 Frozen shrimps of the genus "Penaeus", even smoked, whether in shell or not, incl. shrimps in shell, cooked by steaming or by boiling in water 12.0% 12.0%
03071190 Oysters, even in shell, live, fresh or chilled (excl. live flat oysters "Ostrea" weighing "incl. shell" <= 40 g) 9.0% 8.0%

This is a significant change from the UK Government's temporary tariff schedule that was proposed in March 2019 in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which would have made almost all imported seafood tariff free. 

The UK Government has removed the tariffs on a range of goods where the UK has zero or limited domestic production. This policy does not apply where the goods are imported predominantly from developing countries under preferential arrangements, such as the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), because tariff reductions could have a potentially significant negative impact for those developing economies. For example, tuna and warm water prawns will continue to command a tariff although there is no or limited domestic production of these goods.

The UK Global Tariff will apply to goods from countries with which the UK has no trade agreement, also known as Most Favoured Nation (MFN) terms. In the event that the UK and the EU fail to negotiate a future free trade agreement, the UK Global Tariff would apply to imports from EU member states. The UK Government is currently engaged in trade talks with the EU, the US and other trading partners and hopes to sign trade deals that would result in the elimination or reduction of most tariffs.