UNITED KINGDOM — The United Kingdom has launched a new trading plan — the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) — to provide UK businesses with access to hundreds of products, including pet food. Under the DCTS, tariff cuts will be extended to products imported from 65 developing countries.
Since Brexit, the United Kingdom has been using the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP), which will be replaced by the DCTS in early 2023.
Launched by Anne-Marie Trevelyan, international trade secretary of the United Kingdom, the plan is “one of the world’s most generous trading schemes with developing countries today.” According to government officials, the DCTS covers more ground than the European Union’s GSP, offering cuts to hundreds of more products including clothes, shoes and foods that are not widely produced in the United Kingdom, like olive oil, animal feed and pet food ingredients.
The DCTS will also support UK businesses, allowing them to benefit from more than £750 million ($860.7 million) per year of reduced import costs.
“As an independent trading nation, we are taking back control of our trade policy and making decisions that back UK businesses, help with the cost of living, and support the economies of developing countries around the world,” Trevelyan said. “UK businesses can look forward to less red-tape and lower costs, incentivizing firms to import goods from developing countries.”
The DCTS will cover 65 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas and includes some of the poorest countries globally. It will also remove some seasonal tariffs, like those for cucumbers, which will be tariff-free during the winter. The plan also seeks to simplify complex trading rules, including rules of origin, making it easier for businesses from developing countries to export their products.
Though the DCTS boasts preference to countries based on economic vulnerability, government officials detailed the United Kingdom would retain powers to suspend countries on the grounds of human rights and labor violations, as well as climate change and environmental conventions.
The DCTS is part of the United Kingdom’s push to drive a free-trade, pro-growth agenda throughout the world, which seeks to eradicate poverty, according to government officials. The UK’s Prime Minister also announced a Trade Center of Expertise, which aims to promote a more active, global trading system.
In its “Facts & Figures 2021” report, the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF) detailed that the United Kingdom has a combined dog and cat population of 24 million, with 33% of households in the country owning at least one dog and 27% of households owning at least one cat. With pet ownership in the United Kingdom continuing to rise, the DCTS could offer significant opportunities to pet nutrition processors in developing countries.
Regarding animal feed and pet food specifically, the United Kingdom imported more than $7.82 million worth of dog and cat food products in 2022 from the United States alone, an increase of 26.7% from 2021, according to the US Census Bureau’s “US Exports of Dog & Cat Food” report.
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