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News & Press: May 2020

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy transition period update

22 May 2020  
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Please see the update below from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy that provides the latest information for businesses, trade associations, business representative bodies and business intermediaries, while the UK is in a transition period and the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.The current rules on trade, travel, and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period. New rules will take effect on 1 January 2021.  All transition information can be found at

UK Global Tariff (UKGT) from 1 January 2021

The UK Government has published the UK’s new Most Favoured Nation tariff regime, called the UK Global Tariff (UKGT).  This will replace the current EU’s Common External Tariff from 1 January 2021.  UKGT will apply to goods exported from countries with which the UK does not have a preferential agreement.  Further details can be found in a summary of the publication here.

Use this service to check if the UK Global Tariff that will apply to goods you import from 1 January 2021. You can also check the difference between what you pay now and what you’ll pay from 1 January 2021.

The UK Global Tariff will apply to all goods you import from 1 January 2021 unless an exception applies. For example, if the goods you’re importing:

are from a developing country that pays less or no duty because it’s part of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences 
are from a country that has a trade agreement with the UK 
has a relief or tariff suspension that’s operated by the UK

Northern Ireland Protocol

UK Government has published its approach to implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol, as part of meeting in full, its obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union.

The command paper outlines how the Protocol can be implemented in a pragmatic, proportionate way: one that protects the interests of the people and economy of Northern Ireland, recognises Northern Ireland’s integral place in the United Kingdom and its internal market, provides appropriate protection for the EU Single Market, and respects the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.  The paper sets out four key commitments that will underpin the UK Government’s approach to implementing the Protocol:

• There will be unfettered access for Northern Ireland’s producers to the whole of the UK market and this will be delivered through legislation by the end of the year;
• No tariffs will be paid on goods that move and remain within the UK customs territory;
• Implementation of the Protocol will not involve new customs infrastructure - with any processes on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland kept to an absolute minimum so that the integrity and smooth functioning of the UK internal market is protected; and
• Northern Ireland’s businesses will benefit from the lower tariffs delivered through our new Free Trade Agreements with countries like the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan - ensuring Northern Ireland firms will be able to enjoy the full benefits of the unique access they have to the GB and EU markets.

New Updates and Guidance

The UK’s approach to negotiations with the European Union

UK Government has recently published the legal texts covering its approach to our future relationship with the European Union (EU).  The “Future Relationship with the EU” document lays out a suite of proposals for our negotiations with the EU.  The draft legal texts are the legal articulation of this approach and have formed the basis of discussions with the EU.  The main element of our approach is the comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, or FTA, covering substantially, all trade.  You can view the documents here.

European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks report

The seventh European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks statutory report details the progress on the development of common frameworks.  These frameworks will help facilitate the flow of trade between different parts of the UK whilst allowing the UK to fulfil its international obligations; they will help the UK to safeguard our common resources and enable the functioning of the UK’s internal market.


Existing UK trade agreements with non-EU countries

Information on the trade agreements the UK has already signed and our discussions with countries the EU has a trade agreement with has been updated.

Employing EU citizens in the UK

Information for employers on employing EU, EEA and Swiss citizens in the UK, covering: right to work checks, the EU Settlement Scheme and the UK’s new immigration system has been updated with information on temporary changes to the way you can check right to work documents because of coronavirus.

List of customs agents and fast parcel operators 

Updated with additional customs agents and fast parcel operators who can help submit customs declarations from 1 January 2021.

Financial services legislation under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018

Updated with Trade Repository Registration Arrangements under the UK Securities Financing Transactions Regulation document.  HM Treasury’s programme of secondary legislation to ensure that the UK continues to have a functioning financial services regulatory regime in all scenarios, when the UK leaves the EU.