The UK is in the process of transitioning existing trade agreements of which the UK participates as a member of the European Union. The Department for International Trade has set out the status of those agreements that may not be in place by exit day.
The government is seeking continuity for existing EU trade agreements in which the UK participates as a member of the EU. These agreements constitute around 11% of the UK's trade. These agreements also cover a wide variety of relationships, including:
- free trade agreements;
- economic partnership agreements with developing nations;
- association agreements - these cover broader economic and political co-operation;
- trade agreements with countries that are closely aligned with the EU; and
- mutual recognition agreements - parties mutually recognise conformity assessment procedures.
Businesses in the UK and partner countries are eligible for a range of preferential market access opportunities under the terms of these agreements. These can include, but are not limited to:
- preferential duties for goods, including reductions in import tariff rates and quotas for reduced or nil rates of payable duties;
- quotas for the import of goods with more relaxed rules of origin requirements;
- enhanced market access for service providers;
- protection from discrimination in public procurement opportunities across a range of sectors;
- allowing parties to mutually recognise conformity assessment procedures;
- the ability to complete mandatory inspections and tests on products close to the place of production; and
- common standards on intellectual property.
Keep an eye on the full range of agreements as the process of transition takes place.