Guidance

Existing UK trade agreements with non-EU countries

Find out about the trade agreements the UK has already signed and our discussions with countries the EU has a trade agreement with.

Trade agreements until 31 December 2020

The UK has left the EU. The Withdrawal Agreement sets out how the UK is able to continue to be covered by EU-third country trade agreements until 31 December 2020.

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 until 31 December 2020, in exactly the same way as now.

The EU has issued a notification to third countries outlining this approach.

If you are having problems trading during the transition period, please contact your local international trade adviser.

Trade agreements from 1 January 2021

After 31 December 2020, 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.

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, from 1 January 2021.

Country or bloc Total UK trade with countries, 2019 (£ million) (1)
Andean countries (2) 2,876
Canada (Agreement in principle) 22,418
CARIFORUM trade bloc 3,046
Central America 1,411
Chile 2,171
Côte d’Ivoire 398
Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) trade bloc 1,569
Faroe Islands 293
Georgia 183
Iceland and Norway (3) 26,747
Israel 5,014
Jordan 548
Kenya (Agreement in principle) (4) 1,407
Kosovo 10
Lebanon 849
Liechtenstein 159
Morocco 2,251
Pacific states 196
Palestinian Authority 9
South Korea 11,777
Southern Africa Customs Union and Mozambique (SACUM) trade bloc 11,875
Switzerland 37,063
Tunisia 561
Ukraine 1,566

Notes

1) Source of trade statistics: ONS UK total trade: all countries, non-seasonally adjusted April to June 2020.

2) After 31 December 2020, it is expected an arrangement will be in place prior to this agreement taking effect.

3) The UK signed a trade agreement in goods with Iceland and Norway on the 2 April 2019. This agreement was signed to maintain continuity of trade and was part of preparations for a potential ‘no deal’ Brexit. It will not enter into force. The UK’s future relationship with these countries is influenced by their relationship with the EU, as they are EEA member states. We will continue to engage with Iceland and Norway to determine the most effective way of maintaining and strengthening trade with them beyond the transition period.

4) This agreement is open to accession by other members of East African Community.

Trade agreement with Japan

The UK has signed a free trade agreement with Japan.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed on 23 October 2020. Find out more about this agreement.

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 in force by 1 January 2021:

Country or bloc Status of discussions
Albania Engagement ongoing
Algeria (1) Engagement ongoing, agreement is not expected to be in place for 1 January 2021. Trade expected to take place under WTO terms (Generalised Scheme of Preferences for imports).
Bosnia and Herzegovina (1) Engagement ongoing, agreement is not expected to be in place for 1 January 2021. Trade expected to take place under WTO terms.
Cameroon Engagement ongoing
Egypt Engagement ongoing
Ghana Engagement ongoing
Mexico Engagement ongoing
Moldova Engagement ongoing
Montenegro Engagement ongoing
North Macedonia Engagement ongoing
Serbia (1) Engagement ongoing, agreement is not expected to be in place for 1 January 2021. Trade expected to take place under WTO terms.
Singapore Engagement ongoing
Turkey Engagement ongoing
Vietnam Engagement ongoing

Note

1) Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia are not members of the World Trade Organisation. UK exports will be subject to partner country national legislation.

Trade agreement discussions with countries in Customs Unions with the EU

Andorra, San Marino and Turkey are part of Customs Unions with the EU. The UK’s future trading relationship with these countries will be influenced by the agreement the UK reaches with the EU.

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 from 1 January 2021. The withdrawal agreement allows for the EU’s arrangements to continue to apply to the UK until then.

The UK has signed MRAs with:

MRA coverage in trade agreements

The UK’s trade agreement with Switzerland incorporates elements of the EU-Switzerland MRA.

The UK’s trade agreement with Israel covers conformity assessment of industrial products. This means that existing arrangements with Israel will continue after 31 December 2020.

The UK-Japan CEPA replicates the effects of the existing EU-Japan MRA.

More information

Check:

Find out:

Published 29 January 2020
Last updated 25 November 2020 + show all updates
  1. Amended the progress on agreements with Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Updated the statistics for total UK trade with countries we have signed an agreement with using latest statistics.

  2. Updated to reflect the agreement in principle of the UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement.

  3. Added links to the agreement documents for Côte d’Ivoire and Ukraine.

  4. Kenya added to the list of countries where trade agreements have been signed and East African Community (EAC) removed from the list of countries where trade agreements are still in discussion.

  5. Updated to reflect the signing of the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

  6. Updated to reflect the signing of the UK-Côte d’Ivoire Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

  7. Updated to reflect the signing of the UK-Ukraine agreement.

  8. 'Trade agreements that have been signed' table updated with the most recent statistics from the Office for National Statistics

  9. Updated to reflect ongoing trade discussions with Turkey and Vietnam

  10. Updated the total UK trade statistics to correct an error.

  11. Updated 'Trade agreements that have been signed’ table after publication of the Office for National Statistics' UK trade statistics.

  12. Updated as the EU has notified those countries with which it has trade agreements that EU trade agreements can continue to apply to the UK during the transition period.

  13. First published.