Ukraine conflict

UK bans luxury exports to Russia and hikes import duty

Luxury vehicles and Russian vodka are among the goods affected by sanctions

A ban on exports of luxury goods to Russia and a huge hike in tariffs on goods coming in from the war-mongering country are the latest economic sanctions imposed by the UK government.

Top-end vehicles, high-end fashion and works of art will no longer be exported to Russia while a 35 percentage point hike on current import rates will hit £900m worth of key products such as Russian vodka, metals and fertilisers.

Several big Western brands have already pulled or suspended operations in Russia, including British carmakers Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin, and luxury fashion label Burberry.

The latest measures are designed to cause maximum harm to Vladimir Putin’s war machine while minimising the impact on UK businesses as G7 leaders step up their attempts to weaken the Russian economy.

The export ban will come into force shortly and 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.

Denying Russia access to Most Favoured Nation tariff treatment for key imports and applying additional tariffs will restrict Russian exports to the UK.

The UK is working with its international partners and is supporting the World Trade Organisation to prevent those who fail to respect the rules-based international order from reaping its benefits.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with our international partners in our determination to punish Putin for his barbaric actions in Ukraine, and we will continue our work to starve his regime of the funds that enable him to carry them out.

“The World Trade Organisation is founded on respect for the rule of law, which Putin has shown he holds in contempt. By depriving his government of key benefits of WTO membership, we are denying him further resource for his invasion.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Our new tariffs will further isolate the Russian economy from global trade, ensuring it does not benefit from the rules-based international system it does not respect.

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“These tariffs build on the UK’s existing work to starve Russia’s access to international finance, sanction Putin’s cronies and exert maximum economic pressure on his regime.

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

“Last week, we imposed asset freezes and travel bans on seven leading oligarchs and 386 members of the Russian Duma. The UK has also provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine totalling almost £400 million and provided defensive weapons, including more than 3,600 anti-tank missiles, and essential civilian supplies like generators and medicines.

Background:

  • DIT has expanded its Export Support Service (ESS) to act as a single point of enquiry for businesses and traders with questions relating to the situation in Ukraine and Russia.
  • Any business that has questions about trading with Ukraine or Russia can call our helpline using the number 0300 303 8955 for support or visit our support page
  • DIT will continue to support business and traders during this period. Having a dedicated export support team ready to help at the end of the phone will ensure business can access the information they need at any time.
  • Further details on the export ban will follow in due course; previous export bans have included items such as high-end fashion, works of art and luxury vehicles.
  • Russian imports of the following products will face an additional tariff increase of 35 percentage points, over and above any existing tariff rate under the terms of the move.
  • These products have been selected to inflict maximum damage on the Russian economy while minimising the impact on the UK: Iron, steel, fertilisers, wood, tyres, railway containers, cement, copper, aluminium, silver, lead, iron ore, residue/food waste products, beverages, spirits and vinegar (this includes vodka), glass and glassware, cereals, oil seeds, paper and paperboard, machinery, works of art, antiques, fur skins and artificial fur, ships and white fish
  • These tariff increases will be legislated for by using our powers under the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act (2018), and operationalised in the UK’s customs systems CHIEF and CDS, next week.


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