UK Temporarily Halts Flower Export Tariffs

In an official press statement released today, the government of the UK announced that it has temporarily removed export tariffs for cut flowers, with the aim of making trade with the UK easier and cheaper for growers in East Africa – including Ethiopia – and beyond.

Ethiopia is said to be the second largest cut flower producer in Africa – behind Kenya, making up 23% of Sub-Saharan African exports. In 2023, the value of trade in cut flowers between the UK from Ethiopia was valued at £12.6m, Rwanda at £727,000, £839,000 from Tanzania, and £1.1m from Uganda.

The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) on cut flowers will be suspended for two years from 11 April 2024 to 30 June 2026.

The statement indicated that unlimited quantities of flowers can now be exported to the UK at 0% tariff, even if they transit via a third country. This is particularly important for East African flower growers who transport their blooms via third-countries or auction houses before they arrive in the UK.

The move aims to increase trade and further strengthen the economic relationship between the UK and the region. UK consumers could win big too – on price, seasonality and variety, the statement added.

The suspension of 8% duty for cut flowers applies across the world but will be a big win for major flower growing regions in Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The statement quoted the King’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, John Humphrey, saying: “The UK’s relationship with East Africa is rooted in mutually beneficial trade. This additional flower power will allow trade to bloom. We go far when we go together… or in this case, we grow far when we grow together, further reinforcing the UK’s commitment to the expansion of trade in East Africa.”

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