UK Implements New Trade Scheme, Reduces Tariffs on Nigerian and Developing Countries’ Products

The United Kingdom (UK) has announced a significant reduction in tariffs and simplified trading rules for products originating from Nigeria and other developing countries. This move aims to provide substantial cost savings for businesses and consumers, amounting to millions of pounds annually.

According to a statement released by the British High Commission in Abuja, this decision comes as the UK’s new post-Brexit Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) takes effect. The scheme encompasses 65 countries, including Nigeria, and introduces favorable trade conditions by removing or reducing tariffs and streamlining trading regulations. The DCTS is even more advantageous than the previous EU scheme of which the UK was a member. It is designed to support developing countries in expanding their exports, fostering economic growth, and creating employment opportunities. As trade between developing countries and the UK increases under the scheme, businesses can expect substantial savings on import costs over time.

In the case of Nigeria, over 99 percent of goods exported from the country will now be eligible for duty-free access to the UK market. The DCTS grants Nigeria enhanced preferential access for nearly 3,000 products. Notable examples include the removal of a 4.5 percent tariff on cocoa paste, a 26.5 percent tariff on fruit juices, and a 14 percent tariff on prepared tomatoes.

The UK’s Minister for International Trade, Nigel Huddleston, officially launched the scheme during his visit to Ethiopia’s largest industrial business park, Bole Lemi. Minister Huddleston expressed enthusiasm about the implementation of the DCTS, emphasizing its benefits for businesses worldwide. He stated that the scheme would create opportunities, support livelihoods, generate employment, and contribute to the diversification of local and international supply chains. Importantly, it will also lower import costs for a wide range of products, benefitting UK businesses and consumers alike.

Andrew Mitchell, the Minister for Development and Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, highlighted the developmental aspects of the UK’s new trading scheme. He emphasized the positive impact it would have on global traders, including women-owned businesses, which are being supported through the UK Trade Partnership program.

The DCTS is set to benefit businesses globally, including British companies involved in everyday product trade, such as bicycles and camping gear, with these developing countries.

Ben Llewellyn-Jones, the UK’s Deputy British High Commissioner in Lagos, expressed the importance of Nigeria as a key partner in Africa. He affirmed the UK government’s commitment to collaborating with Nigerian businesses and exporters to enhance trade between the two nations. Llewellyn-Jones highlighted the key advantages of the new UK trading scheme, specifically mentioning that it eliminates tariffs on over 3,000 commonly exported products from Nigeria. This encompasses items like cocoa, cotton, plantain, flowers, fertilizers, tomatoes, frozen shrimps, and sesame. The overarching goal of the DCTS is to foster trade growth with developing countries, stimulating their economies, supporting job creation, and benefiting both trading partners.

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