Government Fails To Listen On Costly Import Charges

3rd April 2024

William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the British Chamber of Commerce reacts to details of the common user charge being introduced on animal and plant product imports into the UK later this month

Reacting to details of the common user charge being introduced on animal and plant product imports into the UK later this month, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce said: 

“This is an extremely disappointing decision by Defra on the common usage charge. The level of import charges shows scant regard to the interests of both businesses and consumers.   

“A flat rate fee for bringing most animal and plant products into the UK is a hammer blow for small and medium sized importers. It’s also deeply concerning for retailers, cafes and restaurants.  

“Importing a small consignment of goods with only five different meat, poultry, egg, milk or some fish products in the medium risk category will now face a bill of £145 per package under these proposals.  

“The clock is ticking to 30th April when these charges will come into force. We urge the Government to reconsider their import charge plans in the coming days. Failing to do so risks higher prices for us all, at a time when we should be bearing down on business costs and food price inflation.” 

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