Will import tariffs land in the UK?

8th February 2018 | 0 Comments

NTDA urges calm while all the facts are established

The news that commercial vehicle tyre registration took effect on 1 February has been met with lots of questions from inside the trade. At the most panicked end of the spectrum, some wholesalers fear that all Chinese-produced truck tyres could end up being subject to at least a 30 per cent levy.

However, NTDA chief executive Stefan Hay urged calm. The association’s logic is that it is important that the industry remains level-headed at this early stage because the details simply aren’t available yet. Failure to do that could – they say – result in scaremongering and some importers applying arbitrary price increases ahead of any tariffs being backdated to 1 February.

It also has to be said that the UK finds itself in a unique position on the subject. While we are still technically part of the European Union, that will only be for another year or two.

In the meantime, it is worth remembering that the trading relationship between the UK and Chinese tyre markets, especially for commercial vehicle tyres, is very significant. One source told Tyres & Accessories this amounts to roughly 200,000 – 250,000 units per quarter.

So, with China being framed as a one of the UK Government’s major trading partner hopes in the post-Brexit trading environment, it is possible that the UK could negotiate its own trade terms irrespective of what is happening in the rest of Europe.

Of course it is too early to say and product registration is already underway, but while import tariffs have clearly landed in Europe they may not remain in the UK depending on the outcome of Brexit negotiations and Sino-British trade talks.

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Category: International News, Legislation, UK News