Trading under WTO rules

How to trade with other countries if there is no UK trade agreement in place.

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If there is no trade agreement between the UK and another country after Brexit, you will have to trade with that country under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

How your business operations will change under WTO rules

WTO and the Most Favoured Nation rule

WTO rules state that the same trading terms must be applied to all countries, unless there is a trade agreement between 2 or more countries. This is known as Most Favoured Nation treatment.

Most Favoured Nation means that the UK cannot offer better trading terms to one country and not another, unless it has a trade agreement that allows it to do so.

Paying tariffs on imported goods into the UK

You may need to pay different rates of tariffs on imports into the UK.

Read guidance on the temporary tariff regime that may apply to you if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

Paying tariffs on exports from the UK

You may need to pay different rates of tariffs on exports from the UK.

The tariffs on your exports will vary by country. Each country decides their own import tariffs. If you are exporting a product to a country that the UK has no trade agreement with, the importer will pay the tariff rate applied in that country to its imports.

Trading services

To provide services in other countries you will need to follow the terms set out in the legislation of the host country. This includes commitments that the host country applies to all WTO members.

Public procurement contracts

Find out about the government procurement agreement (GPA) in a no-deal Brexit.

Contact your trade adviser to find out more about how WTO rules may change the way you trade with other countries.

Published 15 August 2019