On November 2023, the UK and Taiwan signed an Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP), formalising the aims of both countries to boost their economic ties and promote further trade. The UK Minister of State for International Trade, Nigel Huddleston, said that increasing trade with Taiwan would be an essential part of Britain’s strategic “Indo-Pacific” tilt.
On 30 November 2022, the UK and Ukraine introduced a Digital Trade Agreement (DTA) which means that Ukrainian businesses will be able to trade more efficiently and cheaply with the UK through electronic transactions, e-signatures, and e-contracts. Ukraine will have guaranteed access to the financial services crucial for reconstruction efforts through the deal’s facilitation of cross-border data flows. It also establishes greater co-operation between the UK and Ukraine on cybersecurity and emerging technologies. The DTA was signed on 20 March 2023.
The Treasury and the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) have published general guidance on financial sanctions including details of monetary penalties in force from 15 June 2022. Information is also provided with regard to Russia and Libya and the import and export sector.
AMENDED: On 9 December 2021, the UK and Singapore agreed a Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) in principle. A third of UK exports to Singapore are already digitally delivered, including in finance, advertising and engineering, and this deal will, the Department for International Trade (DIT) said, create new opportunities to expand digital trade.
AMENDED: From 1 January 2022 a new version of the Harmonised Coding System for goods (HS Codes) came into force. The next review of the HS Codes will be published in January 2027.
On 5 August 2021, the UK agreed a new partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The partnership, which is the first ASEAN has agreed in 25 years, will lead to closer co-operation between the UK and the region on a range of issues such as trade, investment, climate change, the environment, science and technology, and education.
Companies based in GB — England, Scotland and Wales — do not have to submit the monthly Intrastat reports for arrivals from the EU. This was a temporary measure applicable to arrivals only within 2021.
AMENDED: The Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) operates as a pre-lodgment system for GB imports from and exports to the EU Member States and Northern Ireland. Since 1 January 2022, the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) is now being used as a pre-lodgment model at certain ports for EU exports and imports. The new GVMS platform enables exporters to and exporters from the EU to pre-declare their shipments and avoid queues at UK ports. Failure to complete such processes will result in trucks being blocked entering and leaving the UK.
AMENDED: On 13 January 2022, the Republic of India and United Kingdom formally launched negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. The ambition of both countries is to negotiate a broad agreement that will deliver for businesses and consumers. Both parties agreed that the first round of negotiations would start on 17 January 2022, and future rounds of negotiations will take place approximately every five weeks.
AMENDED: From 1 January 2021, new UK Customs laws replaced the current EU legislation for customs and international trade. The key Act is the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018 which replaced the EU Union Customs Code (UCC). Below are some of the main regulations which have been created to support these changes.
AMENDED: Though Northern Ireland remains part of the UK to ensure frictionless trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland on exit from the EU implementation period, goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland required additional documentation and controls. The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill was introduced in Parliament on 13 June 2022. Seen by the European Commission as a way for the UK to unilaterally amend the agreement, it aims, in the Government’s terms, to fix parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol, restore stability and protect the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.
AMENDED: On 22 June 2022 , the UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) opened negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The GCC, which comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the UK’s seventh largest export market.
On 1 June 2022, the UK and Mexico opened negotiations on an enhanced Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
AMENDED: With the UK and Israel having agreed to start negotiating an ambitious new Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the Department for International Trade (DIT) launched a consultation in February 2022 on “which aspects of our current trading arrangements with Israel we should look to improve or amend”.
AMENDED: On 23 March 2023, the Government brought into force the Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Act 2023 to enable the implementation of, and the making of other provision in connection with, the government procurement Chapters of the United Kingdom’s free trade agreements (FTAs) with Australia and New Zealand. At midnight on 31 May 2023, the two trade deals, the first negotiated by the UK from scratch since leaving the European Union, came into effect.
On 18 July 2023, the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) confirmed plans for the UK and Türkiye to begin talks on an updated free trade agreement (FTA) to replace the existing UK–Türkiye FTA, which was rolled over when the UK left the EU. The Government expects renegotiations to start in 2024.
AMENDED: On 18 February 2022, Japan as Chair of the UK’s Accession Working Group on behalf of the CPTPP members confirmed the UK’s move into the second and final phase of accession to join the £8.4 trillion CPTPP free trade area. Market access negotiations will now begin in which the UK will agree new trading relationships with CPTPP countries, which could lead to 99.9% of UK exports to CPTPP being eligible for tariff-free trade. The UK formally signed the agreement to join the CPTPP on 16 July 2023. The agreement is expected to come into force in 2024.
The UK Government introduced a system of easements for arrivals into GB from the EU. The most comprehensive easement was the option to use delayed declaration procedures, so goods are declared to customs after delivery. Under this system, the goods can leave the port of arrival with the understanding that the GB-based importing company will account for VAT on the returns linked to the date of arrival and make a full import customs entry, paying any relevant import duties, within 175 days of the date of arrival. From 1 January 2022 arrivals from all but one EU Member State must be declared at the port/airport of arrival and will not be released until relevant import duties or taxes have been settled. The Entry into Declarants Recorded (EIDR) delayed import declaration will continue to be an option for goods arriving in GB from the Republic of Ireland. The import pre-alert message sent from the EU to the GB place of arrival under the import safety and security procedures will not be required until 1 July 2022.
AMENDED: The dates issued in the UK Government’s 6th amendment of the Border Operation Model, known as the BOM, in December 2021 have been changed. The BOM outlines the steps and timescales for implementing full customs and border controls on goods going to and arriving from the EU. In the version issued on 16 June 2022, it was confirmed that no further import controls on EU goods will be introduced this year. Businesses can stop their preparations for the planned controls from 1 July 2022.
AMENDED: The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) was originally planned to replace the CHIEF system over three phases between August 2018 and early 2019 but it was delayed due to technical issues. HMRC announced in August 2021 that the import entry procedures would move over to CDS at the end of September 2022 while export customs entries would remain with CHIEF until 31 March 2023. It was expected that transition from NES/CHIEF to CDS for exports would take place by 21 March 2023. However, on 1 June 2023, HMRC announced that the switchover to CDS would take place from September 2023, with all users required to be making declarations through the new system no later than 30 November 2023.
AMENDED: The UK opened negotiations in May 2022 on an enhanced trade deal with Switzerland with hopes that it would break down barriers to allow UK services to access the Swiss market. The second round of talks were held from 18 September to 6 October 2023, with further negotiations planned for the later in the year.