All leisure boats imported to the UK from the US are now subject to additional duties of up to 25%, except those in transit prior to June 22. The extra duties are part of the European Commission’s retaliatory measures against US steel and aluminium tariffs with leisure craft just one area affected.
“We’ve identified some other products that are on the list and we’re asking members to contact us if they are affected,” said Andrew Harries British Marine senior external relations and communications executive.
“We’re making representations to the UK Government and trying to make a case that boats don’t fit in with the EU’s counter measures. The tariffs will have an adverse impact on small businesses – boats are a luxury item and we are reliant on consumer spending.”
He added: “Prior to the EU referendum two years’ ago, the UK imported £100m of recreational craft from the US. It’s gone down to £30m in the space of a couple of years following the drop in sterling. A trade war will be very damaging.”
And UK dealers are already being impacted with orders cancelled and consumers waiting to see what the next move will be.
“Dealers are very concerned,” said Andrew. “There are many micro-businesses in the marine industry and the future is looking very uncertain.
“The marine industry is very resilient, but the tariffs were bought in very quickly with no time for businesses to look at pricing structures or make plans.”