Britain launches trade system for developing countries

·1 min read
Funeral of former Northern Ireland leader David Trimble

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has launched a scheme to extend tariff cuts to hundreds of products, such as clothes and food, from developing countries, part of London's post-Brexit efforts to set up systems to replace those run by the European Union.

In June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted to start a new trade system to reduce costs and simplify rules for 65 developing countries to replace the EU's Generalised System of Preferences, which applies import duties at reduced rates.

Trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the Developing Countries Trading scheme (DCTS) would extend tariff cuts to hundreds more products exported from developing countries, a system, she said, that goes further than the EU scheme.

"As an independent trading nation, we are taking back control of our trade policy and making decisions that back UK businesses, help with the cost of living, and support the economies of developing countries around the world," Trevelyan said in a statement.

"UK businesses can look forward to less red tape and lower costs, incentivising firms to import goods from developing countries."

The DCTS covers 65 countries, simplifies rules such as rules of origin, which dictate what proportion of a product must be made in its country of origin, and removes some seasonal tariffs, such as making cucumbers tariff-free in the winter.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by David Holmes)