Customs and Trade News - August 2022 | Seafish

Customs and Trade News - August 2022

An update on negotiation progress for the UK and India, the ecosystem of trust and a report on Agri food standards in relation to UK FTAs.


India and the UK are currently in their 5th round of negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA). In conjunction with the FTA negotiations, the UK has signed a memorandum of understanding with India, to recognise each others higher education qualifications. They have also signed one for recognising Indian seafarer qualifications on the UK and Red Ensign Group flagged vessels. This is part of the UK-India enhanced trade partnership. India is projected to become the world’s third largest economy by 2050.

Ecosystem of trust

The Government’s 2025 UK Border Strategy sets out to have the world’s most effective border. The vision is to simplify processes for traders as well as create a more secure border. Part of the UK Border Strategy is the ecosystem of trust. This is a “trusted trader scheme” which uses data and technology to allow the processes to take place before the goods reach the physical border. The ecosystem of trust will develop simplified customs procedures. As stated by the government “For a compliant and trusted trader, an Ecosystem of Trust could deliver a more frictionless import/export experience and would enable government enforcement agencies to be more focused on those who are deemed to be a higher risk”.

The government has launched six border innovation pilots. The Institute of Export and International Trade is one of the pilots and are the only consortium handling seafood and chilled distribution. Seafish will be looking to support this where required. 

Agri Food Standards in UK trade deals

A new report has been published titled UK Trade Policy and Animal Welfare, which was commissioned by the RSPCA and the National Farmers Union (NFU). The report discusses the UK’s high standards in farming practices and animal welfare. As the UK government are negotiating free trade agreements with a number of countries, there is a potential risk to opening the UK market to countries which do not adhere to the same quality of standards. The report discusses how this would undermine our UK producer’s efforts and potentially give them competition from lower cost imports, produced to lower environmental and animal welfare standards.

The report gives a list of recommendations, amongst these is trade liberalisation (removal of import tariffs) should be linked to meeting environmental and animal welfare standards in production. They also recommend that there should be a set of core standards for all future trade deals.

Further information

We welcome comments and feedback from the seafood industry, so your issues are understood and fed into the FTA negotiations. Should you wish to email or arrange a meeting, please contact in the Regulation Team.