4 February 2020
Trade agreements with non-EU countries during and after the transition period
Find out which trade agreements with non-EU countries are in place during and after the transition period.
Trade agreements during the transition period
The UK has left the EU. There is now a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.
The withdrawal agreement sets out how the UK is able to continue to be covered by EU-third country trade agreements during the transition period. 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 during the transition period, in exactly the same way as now. The EU will issue a notification to third countries outlining this approach.
If you are having problems trading during the transition period you should contact your local international trade adviser.
Trade agreements after the transition period
After the transition period ends, EU trade agreements will not apply to the UK.
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.
If the UK does not reproduce the effects of an existing EU agreement, trade with other World Trade Organization (WTO) members will take place on WTO terms when EU trade agreements cease to apply to the UK.
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, following the transition period.
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 reached by the end of the transition period, trade with other WTO members will take place on WTO terms.
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 at the end of a transition period after the UK leaves the EU. The withdrawal agreement allows for the EU’s arrangements to continue to apply to the UK during the transition period.