Heading 1 – Trade
Title I – Trade in Goods
Chapter 1 – National treatment and market access for goods (including trade remedies)
The Agreement establishes zero tariffs or quotas on trade between the UK and the EU, where goods meet the relevant rules of origin. The Chapter includes provisions which reaffirm, incorporate and build upon WTO commitments and principles, facilitate trade, and address non-tariff barriers (such as import and export licensing restrictions). It also ensures that trade remedy measures are investigated and applied in a proportionate and transparent manner.
Chapter 2 – Rules of origin
The UK and EU have agreed a rules of origin Chapter which contains modern and appropriate rules of origin ensuring that only ‘originating’ goods are able to benefit from the liberalised market access arrangements agreed in the TCA, while reflecting the requirements of UK and EU industry. For example, the RoO we have agreed for batteries and electric vehicles will ensure that UK-made electric vehicles are eligible for preferential tariff rates, supporting our move towards Net Zero.
The Chapter also provides for full bilateral cumulation (cumulation of both materials and processing) between the UK and the EU, allowing EU inputs and processing to be counted as UK input in UK products exported to the EU and vice versa. The ambitious arrangements include facilitations on average pricing, accounting segregation for certain products, as well as all materials, and tolerance by value. The rules are also supported by predictable and low- cost administrative arrangements for proving origin.
Chapter 3 – Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)
This Agreement includes a TBT Chapter which addresses regulatory barriers to trade between the UK and EU, while allowing both Parties the freedom to regulate goods in the way most appropriate for their own market. This Chapter builds on the WTO TBT agreement and includes provisions on technical regulation, conformity assessment, standardisation, accreditation, market surveillance and marking and labelling.
The Agreement also envisages arrangements to share information on dangerous and non-compliant products on the UK and EU markets. Combined with operational cooperation between UK and EU market surveillance authorities, this exchange of information will help both Parties better protect their market.
In line with common FTA practice, the TBT Chapter also includes a number of sector-specific Annexes which seek to promote cooperation and tackle barriers to trade in the automotive, chemical, pharmaceutical, organic products and wine sectors.
Annex on medicinal products
This Annex aims to facilitate availability of medicines, promote public health and protect high levels of consumer and environmental protection in respect of medicinal products. It provides for mutual recognition of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) inspections and certificates, meaning that manufacturing facilities do not need to undergo separate UK and EU inspections, as well as ongoing co-operation.
Annex on motor vehicles and equipment and parts thereof
The objective of the Annex is to eliminate and prevent unnecessary barriers to trade in motor vehicles and parts. It confirms that the Parties will mutually recognise approvals based on UN regulations. It establishes dedicated cooperation mechanisms to address regulatory barriers, and provides for information exchange to support activities including market
Annex on organic products
The Annex will provide for an equivalence agreement between the UK and EU. This means products that are certified as organic in one market will be recognised as organic in the other. There are also wider benefits, including provisions for effective regulatory cooperation to combat fraud, upholding the integrity of our organics production and control systems, and collaboration on the future development of organic
Annex on trade in wine
The Annex provides for simplified certification, documentation, labelling and packaging requirements for the imports of wine produced in the other Party, reducing costs for exporters and consumers. It also sets out requirements to share information and to jointly review the agreement in future with a view to further facilitating trade in
Annex on chemicals
The Annex seeks to facilitate trade in chemicals, ensure high levels of environmental and health protection and provides for cooperation between authorities. It includes joint commitments to comprehensive implementation of international classification and labelling rules as well as commitments to ongoing cooperation and information
Chapter 4 – Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures
This Agreement includes an SPS Chapter which ensures that the UK and the EU can maintain fully independent SPS rules to protect human, animal and plant life and health, preserving each Party’s right to independently regulate, while not creating unjustified barriers to trade. This is standard practice in free trade agreements.
The Chapter includes commitments on regionalisation, which enables UK and EU trade to continue from disease or pest-free areas. Together with provisions on rapid notification and emergency measures, this will help both Parties to move quickly to protect their consumers, animals and plants during disease and pest outbreaks and food and feed safety incidents, while minimising the impacts on trade.
The Chapter also establishes a framework for cooperation on the fight against antimicrobial resistance, protecting animal welfare and sustainable food systems. All of these are areas where the UK and the EU are global leaders.
The Chapter includes bespoke arrangements for the UK and the EU to hold regular, joint reviews of their respective SPS border controls. The aim of these reviews is to see if each Party can further facilitate trade without compromising biosecurity.
Chapter 5 – Customs and Trade Facilitation (CTF)
The Agreement is based on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Revised Kyoto Convention and provides for efficient customs arrangements covering all trade in goods. As well as facilitating trade, the Agreement ensures that the customs authorities of both Parties remain able to protect their respective regulatory, security and financial interests.
The CTF Chapter includes measures to facilitate legitimate trade by addressing administrative barriers for traders, including through mutual recognition of ‘trusted trader’ (AEO) schemes. This includes provisions to support the efficiency of documentary clearance, transparency, advance rulings and non-discrimination. We have agreed measures that are bespoke to the UK-EU trading relationship, such as cooperation at ‘roll-on roll-off’ ports like Dover and Holyhead and also on exploring the possibility of sharing import and export declaration data, including by setting up pilot programmes where appropriate. This aims at reducing administrative burdens on business in the longer term.
The core provisions on CTF are accompanied by additional Protocols and an Annex to provide for specific forms of cooperation and trade facilitation.
Protocol on mutual administrative assistance on customs matters
This Protocol enables the Parties to work together while upholding their respective customs regimes, to safeguard revenue and prevent fraud through efficient and reciprocal exchange of information and mutual assistance across customs matters.
Annex on Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs)
This Annex provides for the mutual recognition of the Parties’ respective Authorised Economic Operator security and safety schemes. As a result, AEOs assessed and recognised under either the UK or EU scheme will face fewer controls relating to safety and security when moving their goods between the UK and the EU, facilitating trade and flow at the border.
Protocol on administrative cooperation and combating fraud in the field of Value Added Tax and on mutual assistance for the recovery of claims relating to taxes and duties
This Protocol builds on existing international agreements, including the OECD Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. It will enable UK and EU authorities to cooperate and exchange information relating to VAT, including for the purpose of combating VAT fraud. The Protocol will also allow for either Party to make a request of the other to recover unpaid customs duties, excise or VAT on its behalf.