Posted: Tue 27th Jun 2023
A new scheme that removes or reduces tariffs for international trade deals between businesses in the UK and developing countries has been introduced.
The Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) replaces similar arrangements when Britain was a member of the European Union, although the UK government claimed the new scheme is "more generous".
DCTS covers 65 countries including 37 in Africa, 26 in Asia/Oceania/Middle East and two in the Americas. In total, the countries are home to over 3.3 billion people.
The scheme removes or reduces tariffs and simplifies trading rules which the government said will save UK businesses over £770m per year on over £9bn of imports.
Nigel Huddleston, minister for international trade, launched the scheme while on a visit to Bole Lemi, Ethiopia's largest industrial business park. He said:
"It will 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."
Ben Price, head of international logistics and trade compliance at retailer Halfords, added:
"The revised rules of origin under the Developing Country Trading Scheme will be hugely beneficial for Least Developed Countries and companies who are sourcing products from them. Under the previous regime many articles were precluded from benefitting from 0% duties due to the complexity of the rules of origin.
"The further liberalisation and rule options that have been introduced under the DCTS are incredibly helpful and will support business and economic growth in some of the poorest countries. A great example of this is camping equipment, such as tents, from developing countries in Southeast Asia."
How businesses can use the Developing Countries Trading Scheme
The government has published guides explaining how businesses in the UK and developing countries use the DCTS. They include: