With little fanfare, the US splits its tariff quotas for UK and EU exports

Most the attention has been on splitting EU import quotas post-Brexit. This is the other side of the coin. Presumably the UK and EU are OK with it

The new tariff quotas affect UK and EU dairy and tobacco exports to the US | Polina Tankilevitch, Pexels, CC0

By Peter Ungphakorn
POSTED JULY 5, 2021 | UPDATED JULY 5, 2021

On the eve of the July 4 holiday, the United States announced new tariff quotas for some dairy products and tobacco imported from Britain and the European Union, from 2022.

This is the other side of the coin for an issue that has received much more attention — how the tariff quotas for imports into the original EU28 are being split between the post-Brexit EU27 and the UK, the on-going discussion in the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the resolution with some of the objecting countries.

Presumably Britain and the EU have accepted these new conditions on their exports.

The US move only affects six tariff quotas. Five are on dairy products (mainly cheese) and one is for tobacco. The announcement is here. To find out which products are involved, we have to match it with additional notes in chapter 4 (dairy products) and chapter 24 (tobacco) of the US list of tariffs (its tariff schedule, at the time of writing described as “Version: 2021 Basic Revision 5”).

The present (2021) US tariff quotas are for an “EU27” that includes the UK but not Croatia. So the US is sticking with “EU27” for 2022, adding Croatia and removing the UK (see “additional note 2”).

CheeseBack to top

Cheeses and substitutes for cheese (with cows milk, generally hard and not low fat (details in additional note 16)

  • Original EU tariff quota (kg) = 27,846,224
  • New tariff quotas (kg): UK = 2,213,374 + EU27 = 25,632,850

Blue-mould cheese (excluding stilton) (details in additional note 17)

  • Original EU tariff quota (kg) = 2,829,000
  • New tariff quotas (kg): UK = 23,617 + EU27 = 2,805,383

Cheddar cheese and cheese (details in additional note 18)

  • Original EU tariff quota (kg) = 1,313,000
  • New tariff quotas (kg): UK = 895,948 + EU27 = 417,052
Butter and creamBack to top

Butter, and cream (with high butter-fat, details in additional note 6). This is a general tariff quota for 6,977,000 kg but with published country-specific in-quota quantities

  • Original EU tariff quota (kg) = 96,161
  • New tariff quotas (kg): UK = 14,062 + EU27 = 82,099
Protection: the tariff quota on tobacco helps US growers | Tim Mossholder, Unsplash licence
Protection: the tariff quota on tobacco helps US growers | Tim Mossholder, Unsplash licence
TobaccoBack to top

(details in additional note 5(a))

  • Original EU tariff quota (tonnes) = 10,000
  • New tariff quotas (tonnes): UK = 44 + EU27 = 9,956

Thanks to Amy Porges for the alert on the announcement

Updates: None so far

Image credits:
Cheeses | Polina Tankilevitch, Pexels, CCO
Tobacco | Tim Mossholder, Unsplash licence


Author: Peter Ungphakorn

I used to work at the WTO Secretariat (1996–2015), and am now an occasional freelance journalist, focusing mainly on international trade rules, agreements and institutions. (Previously, analysis for AgraEurope.) Trade β Blog is for trialling ideas on trade and any other subject, hence “β”. You can respond by using the contact form on the blog or tweeting @CoppetainPU

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