March 2022 / United Kingdom

23 Marzo 2022

Spring Statement 2022 by HM Treasury

The Chancellor made his annual Spring Statement speech today where he set out the Government’s tax plan to support the UK economy, businesses and families in both the short and the medium term. 

Key measures the Chancellor announced as part of the plan include: 

  • an increase to the National Insurance Primary Threshold for Class 1 NICs and the Lower Profits Limit for Class 4 NICs from 6 July 2022, aligning it with the equivalent income tax personal allowance which is set at £12,570 per annum.  
  • from April 2022, self-employed individuals with profits between the Small Profits Threshold (SPT) and the Lower Profit Limit will not pay Class 2 NICs, while allowing individuals to be able to continue to build National Insurance credits. 
  • The Employment Allowance will be increased by £1,000 from 6 April 2022 to £5,000, which will benefit around 495,000 businesses.
  • an immediate reduction in duty on diesel and petrol from 6pm on 23 March 2022, by 5 pence per litre, for 12 months. 

The full detail on all the measures, some of which are subject to parliamentary approval, can be found on GOV.UK. 

15 Marzo 2022

United Kingdom Economic Crime Bill 2022 Becomes Law

The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill 2022 received Royal Assent on 14 March 2022. The Bill now becomes the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022. The Act establishes a register of overseas entities and their beneficial owners and requires overseas entities that own UK land to register in certain circumstances.

The text of the Act can be accessed here.

The explanatory notes can be accessed here (as a PDF).

24 Marzo 2022

United Kingdom and United States Announce New Tariff Agreement on Steel and Aluminium Products

US Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo issued a 22 March 2022 statement announcing a novel tariff agreement with the United Kingdom, which will allow an increased volume of UK steel and aluminium products to enter the US market without having the section 232 steel tariffs applied to them (see Note).

The agreement is also designed to counter unfair Chinese trade practices. Additionally, the deal will lift tariffs on over USD 500 million in US exports to the United Kingdom including but not limited to consumer goods, distilled spirits and agricultural products.

USTR Tai and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan issued a joint statement, also on 22 March 2022, on their shared commitments, including:

  • increasing dialogue between small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the United States and the United Kingdom;
  • building on the new G7 Digital Trade Principles during the United Kingdom's presidency of that organization;
  • establishing more durable supply chains;
  • supporting environmental protection and creating incentives to decarbonize the economy;
  • protecting labor rights and combatting forced labor globally; and
  • addressing third party market distorting practices.

US Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) also issued a 22 March 2022 statement commending the announcement, stating that "[r]esolving the steel and aluminum tariffs with the U.K. will strengthen America's hand against China and Russia and help ensure American workers are competing on a level playing field."

Note: Former US President Donald Trump imposed a 25% tariff on steel imported to the United States, with exemptions for Canada and Mexico, under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.