IMTA shares its concerns over no-deal with EU
Last week saw warnings in the media from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) on the potential impact of tariffs on food prices if there is no future trade agreement agreed with the EU. IMTA, the International Meat Trade Association, shares these concerns.
In August itproduced a paper called The UK Global Tariff – Impact on Consumers and Business. It is now sharing this paper publicly on its website for the first time, having previously shared with government and several ministers.
Some key points from the paper are:
- To give two specific examples, a Global Tariff duty of 12% + £253/100kg on chilled boneless beef from Ireland or £57/100kg on Danish bacon is directly opposed to the needs of consumers, particularly consumers with tighter budgets. We already know that the cost will have to be passed on to the consumer.
- Based on our calculations, costs at point of import from the EU could increase 81% for frozen boneless lamb, 27% for sausages and 32% for chilled pork loins and cuts. That is before considering any other increased costs arising from the end of the Transition Period.
- The UK is not self-sufficient in meat so the catering and manufacturing sectors, in particular, rely on imported inputs to complement domestic supplies to meet consumer demand for meat and to grow their businesses. Sufficient access to imported supply contributes to job security, investment and added value in the UK.
- Covid-19 has had a significant impact on businesses, particularly those involved in the hospitality sector, as many food businesses are.
- Even if there is an FTA agreed, businesses will still face an administrative and resource burden from veterinary paperwork and checks on import from the EU and the cost of hiring internal or external staff to deal with customs requirements on import (even under the staged approach outlined in the Border Operating Model).
On the release of the paper, Katie Doherty, IMTA CEO, commented: “The publication of this paper comes at a crucial time in the UK-EU FTA negotiations. We are entering the final two weeks before the 15th October deadline.
“We hope for a zero tariff, zero quota FTA; this would eliminate the overwhelmingly negative impact the Global Tariff would have on our imports from the EU, as well as the burden of the EU’s external tariff being imposed on our exports.
“However, we have to consider what would happen if an FTA isn’t agreed and this paper does that. The findings are worrying, particularly as regards calculations predicting a staggering increase in the cost of EU meat at the point of import, which unfortunately will end up at the consumer’s door. The paper also highlights that UK businesses, providing employment locally, use EU inputs for their manufactured product; they too will see their costs increase.”