Irish bakers and British car manufacturers among those lamenting tariff-impact of FTA's origin rules

Tue 26 Jan 2021
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

Post-Brexit tariffs on flour mean the price of bread in Ireland could rise by almost 10%, a trade group warns.

Food Drink Ireland (FDI) said that due to the Rules of Origin chapter in the UK-EU free trade agreement, products containing more than 15% grain from the UK now face tariffs that could raise the cost of the ingredient by 50%, reports the Irish Times.

American flour

Some 80% of the flour used in Irish bread is imported, mainly from across the Irish Sea. It usually contains a high proportion of third-country wheat from Canada or the US.

Paul Kelly, FDI director, said the tariffs distorted the marketplace giving UK and continental bakers “a significant competitive advantage selling their finished product”.

The group is calling for an exemption or relaxation of the regulation for Irish bakers.

Auto woes

Meanwhile, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said that there was no such thing as tariff-free trade between the UK and EU and that the Brexit deal left some manufacturers with less access to the EU than Canadian firms. 

Alessandro Marongiu, international trade policy manager of the SMMT, told the House of Lords EU Goods Sub-Committee that although the industry welcomed avoiding a no-deal, the sector was not unaffected.

“Rather, tariffs apply unless you comply, and can demonstrate you comply, with rules-of-origin requirements,” the Independent reports him saying. “The threat of tariffs is there although agreement allows us to trade tariff-free and quota-free.”

Other risks faced by the industry include duplicated costs from having to comply with both EU and UK rules, as well as friction at the border, he said.