UK cuts tariffs as new customs system extends to all firms

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

The UK is set to suspend import duties on more than 120 products until 2026.

The UK government has announced it is temporarily suspending tariffs on imports of more than 120 products as part of a bid to aid small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by making them more competitive.

Among the goods set to be impacted by the tax relief are agricultural products such as juices and starches, as well as a wide range of non-agricultural goods including ceramics, car components and leather.

The suspension will come into force from April 11th and remain in place until June 2026, the Department for Business and Trade stated.

Business minister Kevin Hollinrake said the measures would drive down import costs for SMEs and help provide better value for money for consumers.

“Around 99.9 percent of all firms in the UK are SMEs, which is why we’re focused on ensuring they have the support needed to grow and thrive,” he added.

Meanwhile, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has also announced that exporters are set to benefit from the full implementation of the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS), which is now available to all firms.

Firms that have yet to move their processes from the old Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system will have until June 4th this year to make the transition, after which CHIEF will not be able to accept submitted declarations.

CDS has been running since 2018 for import declarations and has already handled over 100 million submissions, including 30 per cent of export paperwork. The expansion to all exports will allow every firm to take advantage of a more user-friendly, streamlined system with greater functionality than the CHIEF service.

Sarah Hartley, HMRC’s director of border change delivery, said: "The open migration for exports from CHIEF to CDS marks a key milestone for HMRC, and we would like to thank all our partners who were involved in making this achievement happen."