Guidance

Duty suspensions and tariff quotas

Temporary duty suspensions and tariff quotas for importing goods into the UK.

The government has introduced its independent Most Favoured Nation tariff policy known as the UK Global Tariff (UKGT). As a result, the UK did not participate in the EU’s January 2021 tariff suspension round and will not participate in any future rounds.

If you have a business registered in an EU member state, then you will be eligible to participate in the EU suspensions process. If your business is registered in the UK, then you will have to participate in the UK’s independent suspensions regime and application process in order to be granted a duty rate suspension.

Duty suspensions and tariff quotas

The UK’s temporary duty tariff suspensions and quotas regime allows the duty-free importation into the UK of certain goods used in domestic production.

Tariff suspensions allow unlimited quantities to be imported into the UK, whereas Autonomous Tariff Quotas (ATQs) allow limited quantities to be imported. The UK’s tariff suspension regime should not be used to import goods for resale.

Once granted, a suspension or quota can be used by any business in the UK, it is not specific to the company which applied. If your product is covered by an existing suspension, you do not need to make a new request.

Importers seeking the introduction of duty suspensions should submit an application for the suspension during one of the application windows that are opened throughout the course of the year.

Current suspensions and quotas

Eligible tariff suspensions for products which previously existed in the UK under the EU suspensions regime have been carried over into the UK’s independent regime. They have been retained, provided they came into force as part of the EU’s July 2020 update. These rolled-over tariff suspensions are in force for an initial period of 12 months. They will be subject to internal review in 2021 to determine whether they are working for the UK domestic economy.

The UK government have implemented tariff suspensions on a number of medical items which are critical in the response to COVID-19. All products listed by the World Health Organization in June 2020 as COVID-19 critical are able to enter the UK tariff free. These tariff suspensions will be in place for 12 months and will be subject to review:

A number of EU autonomous tariff quotas have been transitioned into tariff suspensions in the UK’s independent suspensions regime. This means that there will be no volume limit for these goods. These transitioned suspensions will also be in force for an initial period of 12 months, and will be subject to internal review in 2021 to determine whether they are working for the UK’s domestic economy.

The UK has 5 autonomous tariff quotas relating to fish products from the EU, which will automatically expire on 31 December 2021. A further 5 autonomous tariff quotas relating to fish products have been transitioned into tariff suspensions, which means that there will be no volume limit for these goods.

Current duty suspensions can be found by using the Trade Tariff Lookup Tool.

Published 6 August 2012
Last updated 14 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. Additions to links in current suspensions and quotas section, and addition of new section on European Commission Review for duty suspensions.

  2. Updated list of applications for duty suspensions and tarrif quotas, updated links to tariff quota regulations and duty suspension regulations

  3. Updated 'when you can apply' table, links to current suspensions and quotas, and list of duty suspensions expiring on 31 December 2016.

  4. Updated list of duty suspensions expiring on 31 December 2015, added suspension prolongation form and updated list of current suspensions/quotas.

  5. Added links to annual lists of automatic and non-automatic duty suspensions that will be renewed in 2013.

  6. Full update of guide.

  7. First published.