The EU has decided on the tariff rate quotas (TRQs) it will apply after Brexit in respect of a number of agricultural, fish, industrial and processed agricultural products. EU ambassadors in Coreper today endorsed a deal with the European Parliament on the draft regulation setting these new quotas.
TRQs reflect the maximum quantity of imports of a given category of goods on which a country member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has pledged to charge low import duties rates.
Following its formal adoption by the European Parliament and the Council, the regulation will enter into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. The new TRQs will apply as from the day after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
The UK’s withdrawal from the EU has implications beyond the bilateral relationship between the EU and the UK, in particular with regard to their commitments under the WTO Agreement.
The existing quantities of the EU’s TRQs for agricultural, fish, industrial and processed agricultural products have been established on the basis of the UK being an EU member state and forming part of the EU’s single market. It is therefore necessary to reflect the fact that the EU’s WTO schedule will no longer apply to the UK after its withdrawal from the EU.
The adjustment of the EU’s TRQs entails dividing up the existing quantities between the UK and the EU, based on previous trade patterns.
The EU will have to engage in negotiations with WTO partners for each of these tariff rate quotas. However, in the interest of maintaining clarity and predictability in the multilateral trading system, the EU needs to be able to proceed unilaterally to the dividing up of tariff rate quotas for the period between the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the conclusion of a final agreement within the WTO.