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A Canada Style FTA post Brexit – what are the positive and negatives from this arrangement?

By David Hooper, August 08, 2019, Category: General News

In 2016 Boris Johnson, now the UK Prime Minister stated that:

  “I think we can strike a deal [with the EU] as the Canadians have done based on trade and getting rid of tariffs. It’s a very, very bright future I see.”

He was at the time referring to the fact that the UK could agree a deal with the EU based on the Free Trade Agreement the EU had agreed with the UK.

Some argue a deal like this could still be reached with the EU either before we leave on the 31st October or afterwards. However, even if a deal like this is agreed which most would agree is better than ‘No Deal’ this is still not the frictionless trade which many Politicians carelessly suggest.

The practicalities and complexities may actually be the same as no deal for other trying to prove that goods qualify under preferential rules of origin it could be even more bureaucratic.

POSITIVES:

Unlike ‘No Deal’ Tariffs would be eliminated on most products wholly produced or manufactured in the UK and EU – however, see rules of origin under negatives.

Public Procurement – businesses in the both UK and EU may still be able to bid for public contracts

NEGATIVES:

Businesses would need to do a Customs Declaration at import/ export – Incotmers would become even more important in understanding where risk and responsibility starts and finishes.

Businesses would need to meet complex rules of origin to ensure their goods 

Duty would still be payable on goods consigned from third countries imported into the UK or EU and then exported out to the UK and EU – due to the UK leaving the Customs Union. E.g. -A shipment is imported from China to the UK goods are repackaged and distributed to EU customers under this scenario duty would have to be paid twice once at import into the UK and again in the EU.

UK businesses will need to pay Import VAT albeit the Government originally stated under a ‘No Deal’ this could be deferred until the VAT return is made – however, for EU customers they may have to pay VAT before they can receive their goods. If they don’t have a deferment account this may lead to cash flow issues.

Any deal may only grant limited access to service contracts by no means comparable to access under the Single Market.

Therefore our advice all along is prepare for ‘No Deal’ now. Independent Freight Solutions Ltd is ready to support all of our valued existing and new customers in ensuring shipments will managed as smoothly as possible in the event of a ‘No Deal’ but preparing now is important to ensure you’re your business is ready. Independent Freight is a HMRC approved Authorised Economic Operator for AEO (C) Customs and (S) Security.  Out sister Company Hooper and Co can provide additional support by way of training/audits and consultancy on a whole range of international trade and customs related issues. If you would like to find out more about our Freight, Customs or Training Services – contact us