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January 6, 2021 | News

Future trading agreement with the EU

Future trading agreement with the EU

Since the announcement of the new UK-EU trade agreement on Christmas Eve, businesses have been busy trying to understand what this might mean for their business and their EU customers.

Gary Hayes, International Trade Manager at Surrey Chamber of Commerce, highlights key references for our tenants to ensure you are best informed of the new future trading agreements with the EU.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) details the future trading arrangements between the UK and the EU and whilst it is good news that a deal has been done, so that there can be trade with no tariffs or quotas, it is important to remember that this will not be the final position. There will be further negotiations, compromises, and late-night negotiations on many topics. For example, the current deal does little for the service industry and this is a topic that will be subject to further discussions in the future.

One of the difficulties that faces businesses is that many government web pages are being re-written and/or removed following the late agreement of the deal. Furthermore, some web pages contain incorrect information (such as saying that you may need to pay duty on imports of goods from the EU to the UK). This can make it difficult to find the necessary information.

Another challenge for business is to understand how these new rules impact their business. There is lots of talk about no tariffs or quotas but when you read between the lines, you find that goods must meet qualifying criteria and the origin rules stated within the TCA.

In essence, anything from a third country that does not undergo a substantial transformation in the UK/EU is liable for duties and taxes.

It is important that businesses still consult the gov.uk website (https://www.gov.uk/transition) to use the Brexit Checker, for the latest information and to sign up to the regular updates for areas that concern their business, but below are some useful links should you need them:

A Summary about the trade agreement between the UK and EU can be found here – https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/948093/TCA_SUMMARY_PDF.pdf

The List of countries agreements have been made with including links to the agreements can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-trade-agreements-with-non-eu-countries

There is also an update on the Rules of Origin that needs to be applied to these FTAs including the UK-EU Trade agreement. Details can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rules-of-origin-for-goods-moving-between-the-uk-and-eu-from-1-january-2021

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