On 11 October 2017, at the British Chambers of Commerce Facilitation Forum 2017 in Birmingham, I spoke about free trade agreements in the context of Brexit. During this event, I had the opportunity to learn more about the Chambers’ activities across their vast network.
My presentation focused on the key questions that will need to be answered in respect of trade agreements and origin in preparation for Brexit.
Leaving the Single Market and the loss of access to the EU’s network of trade agreements will have a definite impact on a number of UK businesses.
For many UK-based companies that have not imported from or exported to non-EU countries (in particular SMEs), this will be their first encounter with rules of origin and trading under preference. Other firms may find themselves complying with a new set of rules of origin either under the EU–UK trade agreement or trade deals that the UK will sign with third-party countries.
As the EU’s newest trade agreement, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) offers an interesting case study. Negotiated between a ‘NAFTA’ trade agreement model and the ‘EU’ model, CETA includes a new and often unique set of rules of origin and origin provisions.