The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) came into effect on 1 January 2021. Following the implementation of the UK-EU TCA, the UK is no longer covered by EU trade agreements that previously gave increased market access to around 40 non-EU countries. The UK sought to reproduce the effects of these agreements to ensure continuity of trading and rolled over the majority of trade deals. But the UK is now trading on non-preferential terms with a handful of countries.
The guidance on this page represents the information currently available from government. The CBI will update this page as new information is released.
Key challenges for business
Where has the government been unable to ‘roll over’ the EU trade deals into new UK trade agreements?
The government has secured roll-over agreements with a number of key markets for CBI members including Switzerland, Turkey, Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, Canada, and Mexico. In some circumstances, the trade deals are not yet fully in force, but businesses can expect continuity of trade due to agreement to provisionally apply the FTAs. This includes Canada and Mexico. Read the full list, which includes guidance.
Those countries that have preferential trade arrangements with the EU and did not conclude a rollover deal with the UK are Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, Montenegro, and Serbia. The web page listed above also includes details on trading with these nations.
Does rolling over these trade deals mean that everything will be the same under the UK-EU TCA?
Businesses should not assume that a deal being ‘rolled over’ means that there have not been changes. For example, the agreement with the EEA countries is a goods-only agreement (with negotiations ongoing to strike a comprehensive FTA). Services firms are seeing new restrictions temporarily, such as having to obtain licenses to operate in those markets or obtaining visas to travel there. With Switzerland, only three of 20 mutual recognition agreements have been transitioned, meaning double testing requirements in many cases. And with South Korea, a time limited review clause on rules of origin as well as changes in tariff rate quotas will apply. With many of the agreements, renegotiations will take place, such as with Canada and Mexico.
How can businesses adapt to these changes?
It would be sensible to analyse exposure to new tariffs on exports and different trade terms around the world. Some CBI members have re-routed supply chains to avoid new tariffs. Services firms should also look at where new licenses may be required in EU third countries, although in some cases existing licenses are sufficient. Finally, keeping up to date with the Department for International Trade’s progress as it looks to renegotiate some of the rollover deals would be sensible. The CBI’s International team will be working closely with government on this.