European Union Ratifies Trade Deal With United Kingdom

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It has been five years since the British people took a vote on whether to leave the European Union or not. The result of the vote was that the United Kingdom was to leave the European Union, which officially did on January 1st of this year. Until the last moment, it was unclear whether there would be a trade deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom. A disastrous no-deal Brexit was avoided at the last minute.

Agreement Already In Effect

The trade agreement has already been in effect since January 1 2021, but until yesterday it was not yet ratified by the European Parliament. The European Parliament voted on the ratification of the trade agreement: 660 votes for Yes, five votes for No, and 32 abstentions.

In a statement released yesterday, David Sasolli, President of the European Parliament, said:

“Today, the European Parliament voted on the most far-reaching agreement the EU has ever reached with a third country. This can form the foundation on which we build a new forward-looking EU-UK relationship. Despite the UK’s decision to leave our Union, we still share deep and longstanding ties, values, history and geographical proximity. It is in all our interests that we make this new relationship work.”

Brexit Effects Trade Between European Union and the United Kingdom

The fact that the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union has had a significant effect on companies trading between the EU and the UK. They are now faced with new customs checks and procedures, where goods used to flow freely.

Customs Support keeps following all developments surrounding the new customs checks and procedures, and we will keep you updated like we have been doing since Brexit was announced. Please find the latest updates on EU-UK customs matters below:

Customs Consultant and Project Manager Marloes Willems explains the implications of the new relationship between the EU and the UK on preferential origin. On bilateral cumulation, she writes:

“If your product contains components from both the European Union and the United Kingdom, you can apply bilateral cumulation. Bilateral cumulation operates between two countries where a free trade agreement or autonomous agreement contains a provision allowing them to cumulate origin. Only originating products or materials can benefit from it.”

The border between the United Kingdom and Ireland remains a challenging subject as well. There is no hard border between the two, but they’re still is a regulatory one.  We have written earlier about this subject in this article: Northern Ireland Protocol.

The European Union and the United Kingdom have different approaches when it comes to implementing customs processes at their borders. Where the European Union chose an immediate implementation, the United Kingdom has opted for a phased approach. Read more about this phased approach in this update , in which he writes:

The UK approach is based on a three-phased plan. The first phase, which started on January 1st 2021, imposed customs checks on controlled goods, such as alcohol and tobacco, live animals, and high-risk plants. There is a transition period in which companies get time to get used to the upcoming checks and tariffs and implement the necessary processes for other products. Companies still need to keep records. This period has been extended from 6 months to 12 months until January 1 2022.

In the original schedule, checks would also be done on all products of animal origin as of April 1 2021. Plants and plant products would also be subject to checks. These checks will require pre-notification. This date has now been moved to October 1 2021. As of March, there will be checks on live animals and low-risk plants and plant products. 

As of July 1st, all goods would be subject to customs declarations and tariffs when importing them into the United Kingdom.

Stay in the know

Follow our LinkedIn Company Page to stay up to date on Brexit and other customs related matters. Do you have any questions related to doing business with the UK, please contact us as we are happy to help! Customs Support: Take the load off your mind.