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Autumn Statement Duty Suspensions
During the Autumn Statement, it was announced that the government will be removing import tariffs ‘on over 100 goods used by UK businesses.’
The changes are primarily aimed at the food and drink and manufacturing sectors, but in many cases can benefit retailers too. A wide range of goods are set to be granted duty suspensions including certain fruit juices, honey, seeds, plastics, chemicals, car engines and bike parts, amongst others.
The new suspensions are expected to be available soon and will be the first enacted by the UK government since Brexit.
To date, the only active suspensions available to British businesses are those set by the EU which the government decided to roll-over. HMRC have also confirmed that these rolled over suspensions will now be extended to 31 August 2024.
How Suspensions Work
Suspensions allow goods to be imported with a reduced or nil rate of customs duty. They differ from an outright change in duty rate as they are only intended to provide a temporary customs duty reduction.
Some suspensions are available to all importers, while others require that the imported goods are used for a particular purpose or that you hold certain certification before a claim is made. If you have any queries regarding your eligibility, please do not hesitate to contact the PKF Francis Clark Customs team.
Suspensions only effect headline customs duty, so do not reduce the rates of any additional liabilities that may apply – such as anti-dumping duties (ADD).
The suspensions are intended for goods that are used extensively in UK production, but which are commonly imported from overseas.
If the UK already operates a trade agreement with your supplier’s country, you may already be able to import the goods duty free on more favourable terms, provided rules of origin and evidence can be met.
How to Claim
Suspensions need to be actively claimed on the import declaration and you must comply with any additional conditions linked to the suspension.
Data Element 4/17 on the import declaration must include the correct 3-digit code to identify the suspension claim.
If you are using an import agent, you will need to direct them to declare the relevant information on your behalf, otherwise the goods will be imported at their regular duty rate.
If you are reliant on overseas goods which you cannot source in the UK, you may wish to make an application to request a new duty suspension when the next government consultation begins in 2023.
The Customs team at Francis Clark can help ensure you pay the correct amount of duty and utilise duty reductions where available.
For more analysis, visit our Autumn Statement hub.