The UK has left the EU and the Brexit Transition Period will end on 31 December 2020. Singapore companies should prepare for changes in policies and regulations, come 1 January 2021.
The UK has announced that the UK Global Tariff will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff on 1 January 2021 and has introduced a website to facilitate the search of the UK Global Tariff rates that will apply to goods exporting to the UK from 1 January 2021.
UK-Singapore Free Trade Agreement
On 10 Dec 2020, Singapore and the UK signed the UK-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (UKSFTA). The UK and Singapore have committed to maintain the same timeline for tariff reductions as compared to the EU-Singapore FTA (EUSFTA).
The UK and Singapore have committed to maintain the same timeline for tariff reductions as compared to the EUSFTA. Under the UKSFTA, Singapore and UK companies will enjoy the same benefits that they are receiving under the EUSFTA. These include tariff elimination for goods trade, increased access to their respective services and government procurement markets, as well reduction of non-tariff barriers. In addition, Singapore Asian food products such as Har Gow (prawn dumplings) and Sambal Ikan Bilis (spicy crispy anchovies) will continue to enter the UK tariff-free under flexible rules of origin, up to a combined quota of 350 tonnes annually.
For more information on the UKSFTA, including a step-by-step guide for companies to check if their products can enjoy tariff concessions, please visit www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/non-financial-assistance/for-singapore-companies/free-trade-agreements/ftas/singapore-ftas/uksfta.
The UK government has released guidance on moving goods into, out of and through Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). Information pertaining to movement of goods into, out of and through Northern Ireland will be released subsequently.
Singapore companies are encouraged to appoint a courier service provider, freight forwarder or customs agent to deal with customs matters. Your company should take note of the requirement of an EORI number starting with GB, and you are advised to check on applicable customs duties and VAT.
For companies importing goods from the EU to Great Britain, you can refer to a step-by-step guide here.
For companies exporting goods from Great Britain to the EU, you can refer to a step-by-step guide here.
The UK has announced that the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking will be a new UK product marking for goods placed in the market in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). The UKCA marking can be used from 1 January 2021, and businesses which are using CE marking for their products will be given time to adjust until 1 January 2022 for most products. Further details can be found here.
For medical devices, from 1 January 2021, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will take on the responsibilities for the UK medical devices market. All medical devices have to be registered with the MHRA. For these products, CE marking will continue to be recognised in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) until 30 June 2023. However, after the end of the transition period, the EU will no longer recognise UK Notified Bodies. If you are a manufacturer based outside of the UK and wish to place a device on the Great Britain market, a UK Responsible Person will have to be appointed. Further details can be found here.
Gain a better understanding of the UKCA marking and latest legislation on medical devices. Catch the webinar here.
If you are a Singapore company operating in the UK with European citizens as employees, do note that EU, EEA or Swiss Citizens may apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to stay in the UK after 30 June 2021. Find out more here.