How you import from and export to the Pacific States.
UK-Pacific States Economic Partnership Agreement
The UK has signed an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA) with the Pacific States, which is in effect.
The Pacific States covered by this agreement are:
- Papua New Guinea
Samoa and the Solomon Islands have not yet acceded to the agreement (pending a decision on their accession), however preferences under the iEPA have taken effect through a Memorandum of Understanding.
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 covered by the UK-Pacific States EPA. 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)
Tariff rates on goods
Tariff rates for bilateral trade in goods between the UK and the Pacific States continue to apply as set out in the agreement. 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
Finding the correct rule of origin for export
Depending on the type of good you are seeking to export, in order to claim preferential treatment it will need to be either wholly obtained or sufficiently processed.
To be considered sufficiently processed your good will need to meet the relevant product specific rule (PSR). The PSRs for this agreement use the 1996 version of the Harmonised System (HS) nomenclature. You should apply the PSR for your good using the code in which it was classified under this nomenclature.
In a limited number of cases the code for your good may have changed during HS revisions. We are currently updating our online services to reflect these changes. In the interim correlation tables tracing these changes have been made available by the World Customs Organisation and the United Nations
Claiming preferential rates for your exports from the UK
Unless you are permitted to provide an origin declaration, you will need to fill in a certificate of origin to claim preferential treatment.
The UK continues to use the EUR1 format for movement certificates with trade partners that have mutual FTAs with the EU, including the Pacific States. These movement certificates are identical to those previously in use, but the place of origin on the certificate is now marked as the United Kingdom instead of the European Community. EUR1 certificates of origin that have been updated to show the UK are now available from your usual provider, such as the chambers of commerce.
If you previously used the EUR1 form with a mutual EU trading partner, you can use the new EUR1 form that shows the UK as the place of origin.
Using EU materials and processing in your exports to the Pacific States
You can use EU materials or processing in your exports to the Pacific States. The UK and the 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 that the other relevant conditions are met.
For example, you cannot 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 is also 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 the Pacific States through the EU and other countries
Goods transited through the EU, and other countries with whom cumulation is applicable, are not subject to the same restrictions as those in transit through other third countries.
For example, you can split a consignment in the EU when exporting goods to the 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.
Find out about moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland.
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 moving goods and using 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 for your business.
If you have queries about trade, contact the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Should you wish to speak to someone directly, we have local trade offices based around the UK. Within each office, you can contact an international trade adviser. Find your local trade office.