Find out about the trade agreements the UK has already signed and our discussions with countries the EU has a trade agreement with.
Trade agreements until 31 December 2020
The UK has left the EU. The Withdrawal Agreement sets out how the UK is able to continue to be covered by EU-third country trade agreements until 31 December 2020.
On this basis, EU trade agreements can continue to apply to the UK.
Where EU trade agreements apply, UK and EU content will continue to count toward the rules of origin requirements in EU trade agreements until 31 December 2020, in exactly the same way as now.
The EU has issued a notification to third countries outlining this approach.
If you are having problems trading during the transition period, please contact your local international trade adviser.
Trade agreements from 1 January 2021
After 31 December 2020, EU trade agreements will not apply to the UK. This will be the case regardless of any agreement with the EU.
The UK is seeking to reproduce the effects of existing EU agreements for when they no longer apply to the UK.
This will ensure continuity of trading arrangements for UK businesses.
Trade agreements that have been signed
Agreements with the following countries and trading blocs are expected to take effect when existing EU trade agreements no longer apply to the UK, from 1 January 2021.
|Country or bloc||Total UK trade with countries, 2019 (£ million) (1)|
|Andean countries (2)||2,876|
|CARIFORUM trade bloc||3,046|
|Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) trade bloc||1,569|
|Iceland and Norway||26,747|
|Southern Africa Customs Union and Mozambique (SACUM) trade bloc||11,875|
1) Source of trade statistics: ONS UK total trade: all countries, non-seasonally adjusted April to June 2020.
2) After 31 December 2020, it is expected an arrangement will be in place prior to this agreement taking effect.
3) This agreement is open to accession by other members of East African Community.
Trade agreement with Japan
The UK has signed a free trade agreement with Japan.
The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed on 23 October 2020. Find out more about this agreement.
Trade agreements still in discussion
The following agreements are still under discussion with countries where there are existing EU trade agreements in place.
If an agreement is not in force by 1 January 2021:
- the government has put in place the UK global tariff
- trade with other WTO members will take place on WTO terms
- trade with eligible developing countries will take place under the UK’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences
|Country or bloc||Status of discussions|
|Algeria (1)||Engagement ongoing, agreement is not expected to be in place for 1 January 2021. Trade expected to take place under WTO terms (Generalised Scheme of Preferences for imports).|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina (1)||Engagement ongoing, agreement is not expected to be in place for 1 January 2021. Trade expected to take place under WTO terms.|
|Serbia (1)||Engagement ongoing, agreement is not expected to be in place for 1 January 2021. Trade expected to take place under WTO terms.|
1) Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia are not members of the World Trade Organisation. UK exports will be subject to partner country national legislation.
Trade agreement discussions with countries in Customs Unions with the EU
Andorra, San Marino and Turkey are part of Customs Unions with the EU. The UK’s future trading relationship with these countries will be influenced by the agreement the UK reaches with the EU.
Mutual recognition agreements
A mutual recognition agreement (MRA) is one in which countries recognise the results of one another’s conformity assessments.
A conformity assessment is a set of processes that confirm whether a product meets the specified legal requirements. This can include testing, inspection, and certification.
The UK has signed MRAs that replicate the effect of existing EU arrangements. These are expected to take effect from 1 January 2021. The withdrawal agreement allows for the EU’s arrangements to continue to apply to the UK until then.
The UK has signed MRAs with:
MRA coverage in trade agreements
The UK’s trade agreement with Switzerland incorporates elements of the EU-Switzerland MRA.
The UK’s trade agreement with Israel covers conformity assessment of industrial products. This means that existing arrangements with Israel will continue after 31 December 2020.
The UK-Japan CEPA replicates the effects of the existing EU-Japan MRA.
- how you trade with a country if there is no trade agreement in place following the transition period
- about EU free trade agreements in which the UK currently participates
- about EU mutual recognition agreements in which the UK currently participates
- about international agreements with non-EU countries during the transition period