UK WTO & 3rd countries

UK, Turkey switch from customs union to free trade agreement

This was the last major ‘trade continuity’ deal for the Department of International trade to conclude as the end of the United Kingdom’s transition period with the European Union loomed.

Ankara was waiting for the EU and UK to conclude their future relationship deal to put its signature under a new arrangement with Britain that starts on 1 January 2021. That was done on Christmas Eve – the Turkey deal was thus only a remaining formality.

If there are automotive and textiles supply chain operators waiting for guidance on how the switch from working within a relatively seamless customs environment under the EU-Turkey customs union to a bilateral Turkey-UK free trade agreement will work: well they will have to wait and hope that customs authorities will be lenient come January.

The DIT press statement released today hails the agreement as a provider of certainty. “Today’s deal covers trade worth more than £18 billion, delivers vital certainty for business and supports thousands of jobs across the UK in the manufacturing, automotive and steel industries,” stated international trade secretary Elizabeth Truss.

Revised Pan Euro Mediterranean style rules of origin to apply

“It paves the way for a new, more ambitious deal with Turkey in the near future, and is part of our plan to put the UK at the centre of a network of modern agreements with dynamic economies,” Truss added.

The accord secures tariff free trade for industrial goods – as the EU-Turkey customs union does.

There will be new rules of origin to comply with, however, in a deal that is not entirely finalised yet.

A temporary protocol is due to apply as of 1 January 2021 until a more definitive arrangement is found.

The rules of origin will reflect the revised Pan Euro Mediterranean – PEM – rules, the Department for International Trade confirmed to Borderlex. The new British arrangement with Turkey will allow cumulation of origin with products that include EU content.



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