Nigerians to enjoy duty-free export to UK – High Commission

NIGERIA’S exporters will benefit from the United Kingdom’s new developing countries’ trading scheme (DCTS) launched by the international trade secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

By the scheme, 99 per cent of total goods exported from Nigeria are eligible for duty-free access to the country, the British High Commission said in a statement it issued in Abuja yesterday.

The Commission noted that the scheme cut tariffs on hundreds of more products exported from Nigeria and other developing countries, going further than the European Union-generalised scheme of preferences.

This was in addition to the thousands of products which developing countries can already export to the UK duty-free, the Commission said in a statement.

It explained that the scheme would ensure a wide variety of products – from clothes and shoes to foods that are not widely produced in the UK, including olive oil and tomatoes – would benefit from lower or zero tariffs.

It added that the scheme would ensure that British businesses can benefit from more than £750 million per year of reduced import costs, leading to more choices and lower costs for UK consumers to help with the cost of living.

“DCTS will boost trade with 65 developing countries, support jobs and growth at home and abroad, and reinforce our economic security,” the statement read.

The acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Atkinson, said Nigeria would automatically benefit from enhanced preferences under the DCTS, assuring that the scheme can save up to £500,000 of tariffs.

Atkinson said, “As an example, cocoa butter exporters will save £180,000. It’s great to see that the new DCTS will also simplify seasonal tariffs, meaning additional access for Nigeria’s exports to the UK.

“The DCTS covers 65 countries across Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, including some of the poorest countries in the world. It removes some seasonal tariffs, meaning more options for British supermarkets and shops all year round. For example, cucumbers, which can’t be grown in the UK in the winter, will now be tariff-free during this period for the majority of countries in the scheme.

“This work is part of a wider push by the UK to drive a free trade, pro-growth agenda across the globe, using trade to drive prosperity and help eradicate poverty.”

The Secretary of State for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said in the statement, “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.

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



    “The DCTS replaces the UK Generalised Scheme of Preferences, which was rolled over from our EU membership, and will come into force in early 2023. The scheme covers 37 countries in Africa, 18 in Asia, eight in Oceania and two in the Americas, representing varied and exciting trade opportunities around the world.”

    Key aspects of the DCTS are making product specific rules and rules on cumulation more generous and easier to follow for least developed countries; ensuring that goods which are genuinely competitive in the UK do not get preferential tariffs; and making it simpler for developing countries to get the enhanced trade preferences in the scheme.

    It includes powers to suspend a country on the grounds of human rights and labour rights violations.

    THE ICIR checks showed that Nigeria’s exports to the United Kingdom was $1.12 billion in 2021, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

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