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Legal News | 28.10.19

Changes to International Trade Post-Brexit

As a member of the EU, the UK can currently trade with countries all around the world without having to pay tariffs on most goods. However, if there is a no-deal Brexit, the UK would lose this privilege, and trading will revert to World Trade Organisation Rules unless an agreement is already in place to reduce the impact of this post-Brexit.

Role of the Department for International Trade

Trade Policy Group: Develops the UKs international trade policies and leads negotiations with international partners.

Global Trade and Investment: Finds and creates demand for British goods and services, and generates inward investment opportunities.

UK Export Finance: Supports UK businesses to trade by helping them secure financing and insurance against the risks of exporting.

Temporary Tariff Regime (TTR)

The TTR will be implemented following a no deal Brexit, for a maximum of 12 months. The purpose is to minimise disruption to trade and protect industries from unfair competition. It also maintains the UKs relationships with developing countries. It will be replaced eventually by a permanent tariff regime. By visiting: www.gov.uk/guidance/check-temporary-rates-of-customs-duty-on-imports-after-eu-exit you can check whether the product you trade in will be included under the TTR.

Trade Agreements Continuity

To date there are 14 agreements signed with 44 countries, amounting to £99 billion worth of trade. If agreements have not been agreed with other countries, the UK will trade on World Trade Organisation terms instead.

Steps to take:

  • Check to see if there will be a continuity agreement in place with the country you trade with
  • If there is, check if there are differences between existing EU and new UK agreements.

The Government Procurement Agreement

This is a World Trade Organisation agreement between 20 parties. It allows UK businesses to bid for government contracts overseas and foreign businesses to bid for contracts in the UK. The UK is part of this through EU membership but if there’s a no-deal Brexit we will join the GPA as an independent member.

Export Controls

Controlled goods are regulated through a system of export licensing, which the government is responsible for. Following Brexit, an export license issued by the UK will no longer be valid for export from EU member states and vice versa. Applications need to be made for licenses from member states to export from an EU country. Registrations made with EU member states will no longer be valid for export from the UK. In additions will need to be done with the UK.

Steps to take:

  • If you’re not sure whether your items are controlled and require an expert license, use Goods Checker and OGEL Checker: www.ecochecker.trade.gov.uk
  • Trading sanctions on other countries may change after a no-deal Brexit. In which case, if your activity is affected by sanctions, check the new legislation and guidance on: www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-sanctions-regimes-if-theres-no-brexit-deal
  • If your business exports controlled goods, you may require a license from the EU for export to the UK. Check the new rules at ‘Exporting controlled goods after Brexit’ page on GOV.UK
How we can help? 
If you would like some guidance on the Temporary Tariff Regime, what it means to trade on the World Trade Organisation Rules, or you need some help with license applications to export to/from an EU country, then we can assist you.
Our Commercial Team contact details are: 01380 733300 to call us or commercial@wansbroughs.com to email us.


Posted By Our Corporate & Commercial Team