Meat sector facing new trade tariffs post-Brexit

The UK could face complex tariff rate quotas on meat products after Brexit

UK meat exporters may have to negotiate trade tariffs on a country-by-country basis with over 100 nations upon exiting the European Union (EU) on 29 March, 2019.

The country faces the complex task of reaching new tariffs with non-EU World Trade Organization (WTO) members when Brexit talks are done, this site understands.

British trade officials are believed to have told WTO members – currently 163 other countries including the 27 EU member states – that they plan to offer them the same trade terms currently offered by the European Commission. This means businesses exporting goods to the UK – such as New Zealand lamb or Thai poultry – will face the same import tariffs currently imposed by the EU.

There will be talks around new tariffs as, after Brexit, the UK will no longer rely on the European Commission to set tariff rate quotas on goods and services, including meat products.

There is no set of umbrella trade rules or tariffs that UK meat producers face. Exporters, including meat traders, will face arbitrary tariffs that vary from country to country, creating an incredibly complex – and potentially costly – new trading landscape for the UK.

EU member states are important trading partners for the UK and account for roughly half of British trade. Post-Brexit tariffs will be the same across the bloc, if a trade deal cannot be reached. And while Brexit talks do not concern non-EU WTO members, countries will interested to ascertain what agricultural subsidies and agricultural tariff rate quotas will be agreed.

The first round of formal Brexit talks will begin on Monday 19 June

Opposition to hard Brexit

One thing many in the European meat industry are strongly opposed to is a hard Brexit that would see the UK give up full access to the single market and the customs union.

Katie Doherty, policy director and the International Meat Trade Association (IMTA), said hard Brexit is a “huge concern” to the European meat industry. She added UK beef and lamb exports to the EU would face tariffs of 62% and 57% respectively, “rendering them not economically viable.

Jean-Luc Mériaux, secretary general of the European Livestock and Meat Trading Union (UECBV), said the “clock is running” on reaching a new deal. Demand across the continent's meat industry for “clarification” on the challenges posed by Brexit is also “growing,” he added.

Formal Brexit talks between the UK and the EU will begin on Monday 19 June, despite UK Prime Minister Theresa May failing to secure a majority government in last week’s general election.

Britain seems unprepared to start the complex talks, but this is not the case for the EU which has had nearly a year to get its ducks in a row.

The European Commission is ready to do business and to start negotiations,” said EC deputy chief spokesperson Alexander Winterstein.

We hope that the UK will be able to form a stable government as soon as possible. Our negotiating team, headed by Michel Barnier, is very well prepared.

Related News

The US and UK appear to be at loggerheads over chlorine-washed chicken

US defends chlorine-washed chicken amid backlash

A soft Brexit may be a better deal for EU and UK meat industry players

Hard Brexit breakdown ‘opportunity’ for meat trade

A higher volume of sheepmeat exports helped value increase by 4% to €240m

Ireland's booming food exports defy Brexit fear

Article 50 sets in motion a two-year Brexit process that will see the UK exit the EU

Industry reaction as UK triggers Article 50

We want to gauge your views on the state of the global meat industry

State of the industry: flight or plight?

The EU had been expected to make a statement on its implementation plans this week

Europe accepts WTO chicken defeat with China

Russia's market has been closed to all EU pork products since 2014

WTO sets deadline to resolve Russia’s EU pork ban

The WTO ruled against Russia for the second time in the pork ban dispute

Russia loses appeal over EU pork import ban

Related Products

See more related products

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.