Taxation and Customs Union

United Kingdom

Guidance on the application of the TCA: preferential treatment and rules of origin 

On 24 December 2020, the EU and the UK reached an agreement on the terms of their future relationship following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) provisionally entered into force on 1 January 2021 and provides for zero tariffs and zero quotas on all trade of EU and UK goods that comply with the appropriate rules of origin. Since the provisional entry into force, the Commission has actively engaged with Member States and industry to help them adapt to the new rules.

Rules of origin are an important aspect of any free trade agreement such as the TCA. Yet while the requirements and procedures for claiming preferential treatment can be complex, without them zero-tariff trade cannot be guaranteed for the bilateral exchanges of EU and UK goods.

To assist EU businesses importing from and exporting to the UK, the European Commission has developed a range of guidance on preferential treatment, rules of origin and customs procedures within the framework of the new relationship with the UK. This guidance aims to be comprehensive and accessible for all traders.

For further assistance relevant to your individual case, we invite you to contact your national customs administration.