Hauliers are calling for the government to clarify the level of import tariffs to be placed on new trucks in the event of a no-deal Brexit after a government document revealed it has been hiked from a promised 10% to 16%.

Last month industry leaders were told by government officials that a planned 22% tax on HGV imports was to be reduced to 10%, bringing it into line with the car industry.

However, a government document dubbed "Non-preferential tariff rates and quotas on imports if the UK leaves the EU with No Deal", published last week, reveals that the import tax will be 16% on new and used “road tractors for semi- trailers”.

RHA policy director Duncan Buchanan told motortransport.com: “Any tariff on trucks will have a hugely damaging effect on our industry, even 10% will impose huge costs on operators, but now, after being told by the government it will be a 10% tariff, we see in the documents that it is actually 16%”.

“The government appears to be confused as to which vehicles are subject to a 16% tariff and which vehicles are subject to a 10% tariff. They claimed it was 10% for new trucks but when we look at the details, we see both new and used tractor units are subject to 16%.

"We need clarification and we have written to the Department of International Trade asking for that clarification as soon as possible.”

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Currently trucks from the EU are not subject to any tariff, unlike trucks imported from outside of the EU. Around 96% of all UK trucks on the road are manufactured in Europe.

The FTA is lobbying for all tariffs to be removed from new trucks from Europe in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Deputy CEO James Hookham said: “There should be no additional financial penalty on buying new vehicles. At a time when vehicle operators are under massive pressure to use newer cleaner vehicles, operators need incentives to replace trucks quicker not penalties to hinder their purchase.

“This is a tax on quality – new trucks are the cleanest and safest ever - ministers need to join the dots on their strategies to improve air quality in towns and cities and the costs they are imposing on truck operators because of Brexit.”

The Department of Trade and Industry has yet to respond to a request from motortransport.com for clarification of the tariff rate on new trucks.