Final green light to the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement

It will soon be easier and more profitable to trade with Singapore.

The free trade agreement (FTA) signed by the European Union and the Republic of Singapore on 19 October 2018 is due to enter into force on 21 November 2019, as a consequence of the decision adopted by the Council today on the conclusion of this agreement.

With over 50.000 European companies exporting to Singapore, the vast majority of which are small and medium sized enterprises, the importance of this agreement for European businesses cannot be overestimated. It has the potential to create a thriving business environment for big and small players and strengthen even more our relations with our largest partner in South East Asia.

Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Finland and President of the Council

The FTA will slash customs duties on both sides: Singapore will remove all remaining tariffs on certain EU products (like alcoholic beverages) and keep the current duty-free access for all other EU products unchanged, while the EU will open its market to over 80% of all imports from Singapore EU duty-free and remove all other tariffs within a few years.

Moreover, technical and non-tariff barriers to trade in goods will be removed in sectors such as: electronics, motor vehicles and vehicle parts, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, renewable energy, and raw and processed products of animal and plant origin.

Other key features of the agreement that will help facilitate trade will be:

  • enhanced customs cooperation
  • the recognition of rules of origin and the protection of intellectual property rights
  • the opening up of services and investment markets in the fields of telecommunications, environmental services, engineering, computing and maritime transport
  • binding commitments on trade and sustainable development, including robust requirements concerning environmental protection and social development