New 10 per cent import tax on European cars announced

New cars imported to the UK from Europe will be subject to a 10 per cent import tariff from January 1.

The Department for International Trade has confirmed that imports for cars would revert to World Trade Organisation terms – which includes the 10 per cent levy – unless alternate trade deals are struck before the end of the year. It will see European imports subjected to the same tariff rates as cars from elsewhere in the world.

It will mean that Europe-based manufacturers will see their tariffs rise from zero to 10 per cent. A potential trade deal with the EU could avoid this rise. Those manufacturers outside Europe are unlikely to feel the effect, however, since they already pay a 10 per cent import duty.

In contrast, many imported household items such as dishwashers, freezers and various cooking ingredients will have zero tariffs, under the new plans.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “Our new Global Tariff will benefit UK consumers and households by cutting red tape and reducing the cost of thousands of everyday products.

“With this straightforward approach, we are backing UK industry and helping businesses overcome the unprecedented economic challenges posed by coronavirus.”

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