Brussels asks to postpone tariffs on UK electric vehicles for 3 years so as not to depend on China


Brussels asks to postpone tariffs on UK electric vehicles for 3 years so as not to depend on China


The European Commission has proposed this Wednesday to delay for another three years, until December 31, 2026, the introduction of tariffs after the United Kingdom leaves the EU on electric vehicles in order to encourage domestic production of batteries and other components and avoid dependencies on third parties such as China.

The Community Executive has thus responded to the request that the main car manufacturers in Europe made to the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to postpone the introduction of these post-Brexit tariffs, since they consider them detrimental to the production of EU electric vehicles.

"We have listened to those affected and have put a fair proposal on the table to ensure that the EU is part of a prosperous transition and boost the battery industry," Vice President Maros Sefcovic said at a press conference.

Along the same lines, the economic vice-president of the Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, has highlighted that this extension "offers the predictability and stability that EU car and battery manufacturers so need at a time of strong global competitive pressure" and that it is the "result of intense engagement with the industry and with unions", who had also expressed concern about rules that would have created tariff barriers for exports of electric vehicles to the United Kingdom.

Brussels has proposed to the Council this specific extension of the current rules of origin applicable to electric vehicles and batteries under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (CCA) between the EU and the United Kingdom, although it does not affect the stricter rules of the agreement, which will be applicable from 2027, as planned.

The extension will be accompanied by additional funding that the Commission has reserved for this purpose from the EU innovation fund with an allocation of up to €3 billion over three years to boost the EU battery manufacturing industry.

This money will be used, as diplomatic sources have explained, as a "bonus" that will reward those battery industries that prove to be more competitive, since one of the main objectives is to support the industry in the search for the transition towards 'clean' technologies and cut third-party dependencies.

The same sources have specified that the signal that Brussels seeks to give to the market is that it wants these batteries to be produced in the EU, while offering more time to the industry to reach that point.

The Commission's proposal will now be debated in the Council, whose decision will determine the EU's position in the Association Council, the highest decision-making body of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the United Kingdom.