Monthly Archives: May 2020

UK trade tariffs from January 2021

The UK Government announced the UK’s new MFN tariff regime, the UK Global Tariff (UKGT). This will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff on 1 January 2021 at the end of the Transition Period.

The new tariff is tailored to the needs of the UK economy. It will support the economy by making it easier and cheaper for businesses to import goods from overseas. It is a simpler, easier to use and lower tariff regime than the EU’s Common External Tariff (EU CET) and will be in pounds (£), not euros.

The Government is taking a common-sense approach to the new tariff schedule by streamlining and simplifying nearly 6,000 tariff lines, and lowering costs for businesses by reducing administrative burdens. The changes include scrapping unnecessary tariff variations, rounding tariffs down to standardised percentages, and getting rid of all “nuisance tariffs” (those below 2%).

The UKGT also expands tariff free trade by eliminating tariffs on a wide range of products. The UKGT ensures that 60% of trade will come into the UK tariff free on WTO terms or through existing preferential access from January 2021, and successful Free Trade Area negotiations will increase this.

This will lower costs for businesses, ensuring they can compete on fair terms with the rest of the world, as well as keeping prices down and increasing choice for consumers.
The Government is maintaining tariffs on a number of products backing UK industries such as agriculture, automotive and fishing. This will help to support businesses in every region and nation of the UK to thrive. Some tariffs are also being maintained to support imports from the world’s poorest countries that benefit from preferential access to the UK market.

The UKGT was designed following widespread engagement with businesses across the UK. As it will come into force on 1 January 2021, it’s important that businesses can familiarise themselves with the new tariff regime ahead of this date.

Please, access to check:

– what the tariffs apply to
– how to check the relevant tariff
– what goods are covered by tariff-rate quota

Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme becomes law

As many of you will be aware, yesterday, the Scottish Parliament voted to approve the regulations for the Scottish Government’s Deposit Return Scheme. This final step in the Parliamentary process means the Regulations will become law and confirms a go-live date for the scheme of 1 July 2022.

Zero Waste Scotland was tasked with advising on scheme design, and supporting implementation, and in doing so we have relied on the contributions of a wide range of stakeholders. As such I would like to thank you for your contribution to the development of the scheme and the Regulations.

The regulations are available to view online, at

Further information is available on our deposit return information hub,

Understandably, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is the priority for businesses and the Scottish Government at this time. Ministers have confirmed that they will continue to closely monitor the impact of COVID-19 on Scotland’s businesses and the implementation of DRS.

As Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme becomes law, Zero Waste Scotland will continue to support industry moving forward by sharing information and engaging as needed.

I hope you are keeping safe and well.

Jill Farrell

Chief Operating Officer
Zero Waste Scotland