AstraZeneca Says Hard Brexit Could Mean $35.5 Million in Extra Annual Costs

By Adam Clark Features Dow Jones Newswires

AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.LN) has said that the U.K.'s departure from the European Union without a new free trade agreement could result in it paying $35.5 million per year more in duties.

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In evidence submitted to parliament, the drugs company said it would face $30.5 million in additional annual duty on current transactions under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

Additionally, it would face $5 million duty on U.K. imports of ingredients.

AstraZeneca also said that without new tariff agreements with the EU, it would experience delays and administrative issues, which could undermine its ability to conduct clinical trials programs in and from the U.K.

The company said it therefore supports U.K. efforts to establish tariff schedules with the EU before leaving the bloc, and encouraged efforts to update the WTO's pharmaceuticals agreement.

AstraZeneca said it would like a minimum three-year transition period for the U.K. to negotiate new trading arrangements with the EU, and added that it supports continued regulatory alignment.

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AstraZeneca's comments were made in an evidence submission to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee of the House of Commons in its investigation into Brexit's effects on the pharmaceutical sector.

Shares are up 16 pence, or 0.3%, at 4783 pence at 1455 GMT.

Write to Adam Clark at adam.clark@dowjones.com; @AdamDowJones

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 04, 2017 10:24 ET (15:24 GMT)