The Government has revised the tariff rates that will be applied to trucks purchased from outside the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Following discussions with industry groups, the Government has reduced the rate applied to HGVs in its Temporary Tariff Regime document from 25% to 16% - not the 10% that was originally planned.
It said lower tariffs on HGVs entering the UK market will strike a better balance between the needs of British producers and the SMEs that make up the UK haulage industry, ensuring that crucial fleet replacement programmes that help to lower carbon emissions can continue.
If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, businesses may need to pay different rates of customs duty (tariffs) on imports into the UK from the EU and the rest of the world.
The temporary rates would be in place for up to 12 months. The government will then introduce a permanent tariff regime following a public consultation.
Trade Policy Minister Conor Burns said: “The UK will be leaving the EU on 31 October and we are working with businesses to ensure the UK is ready to trade from day one.
“Our temporary tariff regime will support the UK economy as a whole, helping British businesses to trade and opening up opportunities for business to import the best goods from around the world at the best prices for British consumers.”
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) says any tariff on new trucks in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit will have a damaging effect on the industry.
The RHA points out that it is effectively an increase on the price of new trucks by 16% in real terms - at a time when hauliers can ill-afford an increase in their costs.
RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett said: “The original proposal of a 22% tariff on HGVs coming in from the EU was unbelievable. A 16% tariff will still be crippling and will severely damage the lives and livelihoods of those responsible for operating the very industry that keeps the UK fit to live in.
“Government is already forcing hauliers to upgrade their vehicles halfway through their working lifecycle to meet new clean air rules. These tariffs will see consumers facing higher prices in the shops as operators’ margins are squeezed even tighter.”
FTA deputy CEO James Hookham added: "We are pleased to see our calls to remove the very high proposed tariffs have been listened to but this move is not enough. There should be no additional financial penalty on buying new vehicles. At a time when vehicle operators are under massive pressure to use newer cleaner vehicles. Operators need incentives to replace trucks quicker not penalties to hinder their purchase.”