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Business News of Thursday, 26 January 2023


UK removes duty on Nigerian exports

Flag of Nigeria and the United Kingdom Flag of Nigeria and the United Kingdom

United Kingdom has launched the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) in Nigeria which will see exports of goods from Nigeria attracting no duty.

DCTS offers one of the most generous sets of trading preferences in the world and demonstrates the UK’s commitment to building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with countries like Nigeria.

The DCTS launch took place yesterday at the EKO Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, and the DCTS will come into force in the Spring of the year, replacing the UK’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences. The DCTS benefits 65 countries, 37 of which are African, and will mean that Nigeria benefits from duty free trade on over 9200 products.

This is significantly more generous than the EU’s GSP scheme and the US’ AGOA scheme and, based on trade volumes, would mean that 99 per cent of goods exported to the UK are duty free.

UK Deputy British High Commissioner in Lagos, Ben Llewellyn-Jones said: “Nigeria is one of the UK’s most important partners in Africa and the abolishes tariffs on over 3000 everyday products that Nigeria currently exports including cocoa, cotton, plantain, flowers, fertilizers, tomatoes, frozen shrimps and sesame. The overarching aim of the new scheme is to grow free and fair trade with developing countries, boosting the economy and supporting jobs in those countries, as well as in ours.”

Nigeria is eligible for enhanced trade preferences in the DCTS. This means it benefits from new tariff cuts on over 3000 products and in total benefits from duty free trade on approximately 9200 products.

Tariffs were removed for cocoa butter (2.5per cent) and paste (4.5per cent). Cocoa remains duty free. Nigerian global exports of around £40m (butter) and £10m (paste) a year. UK imports of around £250m of cocoa butter annually of which Nigeria currently accounts for less than two per cent. UK imports of cocoa paste around £40m annually with none from Nigeria as identified by Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) as key opportunity.

Tariffs were removed for woven cotton (6.4per cent) and tariffs on cotton clothes and apparel have been removed. Raw cotton remains duty free, also identified by NEPC as a key opportunity.

Tariffs were removed for urea (six per cent). Nigeria recorded global exports of over £650million in 2021 – tenth largest global exporter. UK global imports of over £200million with none from Nigeria. This product was also identified by the NEPC as a key opportunity.

Tariffs removed for fresh cut (4.5per cent) and prepared (6.5per cent) flowers. Nigeria global exports were over £10millio in 2021 with UK global imports of over £600million a year.