•Abolishes tariffs on over 3,000 Nigerian export products
James Emejo in Abuja
The United Kingdom (UK) yesterday simplified trading rules for developing countries, including Nigeria, drastically slashing tariffs on products and saving businesses and consumers millions of pounds annually.
The UK’s new post-Brexit Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) which became effective yesterday, covers 65 countries, including Nigeria.
The initiative immediately abolishes tariffs on over 3,000 everyday products that Nigeria currently exports including cocoa, cotton, plantain, flowers, fertilizers, tomatoes, frozen shrimps and sesame.
Essentially, the scheme removes or reduces tariffs and simplifies trading rules so that more products qualify for the scheme, making it more generous than the EU scheme the UK was previously a member of.
The scheme is expected to benefit Nigeria in particular, given that over 99 per cent of goods exported from the country will automatically be eligible for duty-free access to the UK.
Nigeria would also receive enhanced preferential access for almost 3,000 products including 4.5 per cent tariff removed on cocoa paste, 26.5 per cent on fruit juices, and 14 per cent from prepared tomatoes.
The UK Minister for International Trade, Nigel Huddleston who launched the scheme while on a visit to Ethiopia’s largest industrial business park, Bole Lemi, said, “This DCTS scheme is a brilliant example of the UK taking advantage of its status as an independent trading nation and I am excited to see it implemented today.”
He said the initiative would create opportunities for businesses around the world, supporting livelihoods, creating jobs and diversifying local and international supply chains.
“It will also benefit UK businesses and consumers by lowering import costs on a whole range of products,” he said in a statement.
Also, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s Minister for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell, said the new trading scheme for 65 developing countries, “shows how we can use trade to deliver development.”
He said, “It will benefit traders around the world, including women-owned businesses, which we are supporting through the UK Trade Partnership programme.”
The scheme also benefits businesses all over the world and British companies that trade with these countries in everyday products such as bicycles and camping gear.
Further commenting on the launch, UK Deputy British High Commissioner in Lagos, Ben Llewellyn-Jones said, “Nigeria is one of the UK’s most important partners in Africa and the UK Government is committed to working with Nigerian businesses and exporters to boost trade between our two great nations.
“The UK’s Developing Countries Trading Scheme harnesses the power of trade to help Nigeria and other emerging economies grow and prosper.
Jones said, “One major benefit of this new UK trading scheme is that it abolishes tariffs on over 3000 everyday products that Nigeria currently exports including cocoa, cotton, plantain, flowers, fertilizers, tomatoes, frozen shrimps and sesame.”