Guidance

Trade with the Pacific States from 1 January 2021

How you import from and export to the Pacific States will change from 1 January 2021.

New rules for January 2021

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.

This page tells you what you'll need to do from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.

You can also read about the transition period.

UK-Pacific States Economic Partnership Agreement

The UK has signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Pacific States.

The Pacific States covered by this agreement are:

  • Fiji
  • Papua New Guinea

EPAs are principally development-focused trade agreements that aim to promote increased trade and investment. They contribute to sustainable growth and poverty reduction in developing countries.

This guidance provides information on aspects of trade that will change as soon as the UK-Pacific States EPA takes effect. It is for UK businesses trading with the Pacific States.

What the agreement includes

The UK commits to providing immediate duty-free, quota-free access to goods exported from the Pacific States.

In exchange, the Pacific States commit to gradual tariff liberalisation of goods. Some domestically sensitive products in the Pacific States are excluded from tariff liberalisation.

This EPA includes provisions on:

  • trade in goods (including provisions on preferential tariffs and rules of origin)

Import tariff rates on goods

Tariff rates for bilateral trade in goods between the UK and the Pacific States will continue to apply as soon as the agreement takes effect. However, in some cases, the non-preferential applied rates may in fact be lower because of changes in the UK’s Most Favoured Nation tariff schedule.

You can use online tools trade with the UK and check how to export goods to check product-specific and country-specific information on tariffs and regulations that currently apply to UK trade in goods. These tools are regularly updated to reflect any changes.

Rules of origin

Claiming preferential rates for your exports from the UK

Unless you are permitted to provide an invoice declaration, you will need to fill in a certificate of origin to claim preferential treatment.

Updated certificates of origin will be available as soon as the agreement takes effect from your usual provider, for example chambers of commerce. Certificates will look very similar to those currently in use. They will show the UK as the place of origin rather than the EU.

If you currently use an EUR1 form, you will continue to do so.

Using EU materials and processing in your exports to the Pacific States

You can continue to use EU materials or processing in your exports to the Pacific States. The UK and Pacific States must have fulfilled the necessary requirements set out in the Rules of Origin Protocol. You must also ensure the working or processing you do in the UK goes beyond the minimal operations listed in the agreement and the other relevant conditions are met.

For example, you will not be able to simply package or label a product from the EU and export it to the Pacific States as a good originating in the UK.

See the list of minimal operations in Article 7 of the Rules of Origin Protocol in the UK-Pacific States Economic Partnership Agreement text.

The ability to consider materials from, or processing carried out in, another country as originating when incorporated into your product is called cumulation.

Using materials and processing from other countries in your exports to Pacific States

It will also be possible to use materials from, and processing carried out in, the other countries and territories referenced in Article 3 of the Rules of Origin Protocol. Again, you must ensure that the working or processing you do in the UK goes beyond the minimal operations listed in the agreement and the other relevant conditions are fulfilled.

Sending your goods to Pacific States through the EU and other countries

Goods transited through the EU, and other countries with whom cumulation is applicable, will not be subject to the same restrictions as those in transit through other third countries.

For example, you will be able to split a consignment in the EU when exporting goods to Pacific States, provided the goods comprising the consignment have not cleared customs in the EU.

Transit through any other third country is possible provided your goods remain under customs surveillance and do not undergo operations other than unloading, reloading or any operation designed to preserve them in good condition.

When the agreement is expected to take effect

The agreement is intended to take effect from 1 January 2021 (or as soon as possible thereafter).

Further information

Find further guidance on exporting to Pacific States from 1 January 2021.

From 1 January 2021, the Northern Ireland Protocol will come into effect. Find out how the Northern Ireland Protocol could affect your business.

Freight forwarding may save you time and money if you’re exporting large volumes of goods or high value items by sea or air freight. Find out more about freight forwarders.

This guidance is for information only. You should consult your legal advisers if you wish to ensure you understand the legal implications of trading from 1 January 2021 for your business.

Contact

If you have queries about trade from 1 January 2021, contact the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Should you wish to speak to someone face to face, we have local trade offices based around the UK. Within each office you can contact an international trade advisor. Find your local trade office.

Published 8 August 2019
Last updated 4 November 2020 + show all updates
  1. Page updated to provide detailed guidance on how to trade with the Pacific States from 1 January 2021. This includes information on import tariff rates and rules of origin.

  2. First published.