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Trade Update

Volume 710: debated on Tuesday 15 March 2022

On 14 March 2022, the Government announced that they will take action to deny Russia’s entitlement to Most Favoured Nation tariff access to our economy for hundreds of imports, adding a 35-percentage-point tariff increase on £900 million-worth of imported goods from Russia and Belarus, including vodka and antiques—tariffs increasing from 0% to 35%. This is a balanced starting point with room to go further in due course. The UK will also ban exports of luxury goods to Russia in lockstep with our G7 allies. The export ban will affect goods such as luxury vehicles, high-end fashion and works of art.

We want to maximise the harm to the Putin war machine, while minimising the impact on UK businesses, as G7 leaders unite to unleash a fresh wave of economic sanctions on Moscow. In particular, the ban will make sure oligarchs and other members of the elite, who have grown rich under President Putin’s reign and support his illegal invasion, are deprived of access to luxury goods and assets.

Denying Russia access to Most Favoured Nation treatment and applying additional tariffs will restrict Russian imports to the UK. We will target imports from Belarus with the same measures, in line with the evolving sanctions position, and to prevent circumvention of Russian-origin goods. The UK Government reaffirms our commitment to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), working closely with others in taking action to ensure those who do not respect the rules-based international order cannot benefit from it.

These new measures will further tighten the growing economic pressure on Russia and ensure the UK is in line with sanctions imposed by our allies.

Secondary legislation to implement this decision will be laid before Parliament under the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018 as soon as possible.