Customs and Trade News - October 2022

An update on the negotiation progress for the UK’s free trade agreements, the target operating model and DIT’s international trade week.

Free trade agreement update

The UK’s negotiation teams are underway with several free trade agreements. Round one of the Gulf cooperation council (GCC) negotiations has begun. We wrote a piece on the GCC in the July edition of the customs and trade news. The UK and Israel have concluded their second round of negotiations. The UK and India are looking to conclude their talks by the end of October although we understand that this may now be a reduced agreement. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is also set to conclude before the end of 2022 whilst Australia and New Zealand is currently in parliament at the ratification stage. Canada and Mexico are the next talks to begin.

The target operating model

In April 2022 the government postponed the introduction of import checks on EU goods, with a statement that the new target operating model is set to be announced this autumn. The information released so far has detailed a single trade window, which will simplify customs procedures for traders allowing them to input data only once.

We also know of the ecosystem of trust. This will allow compliant and trusted traders to be deemed as less risk resulting in a lower percentage of document and physical checks. The draft of the target operating model is still said to be published at the end of October. We anticipate the digitalisation of certification which will be welcomed by the seafood industry.

DIT international trade week

The department for international trade (DIT) are hosting international trade week from 31 October to 4 November. There will be a series of events and webinars throughout the UK promoting DIT tools for exporting, as well as focusing on the benefits of free trade agreements for UK companies and much more.

Seafish will be contributing to international trade week with a blog on what the new target operating model might look like. In conjunction with this, we will have the publication of Seafish’s new customs guidance to help and inform stakeholders on what they need to know. Seafish will also be promoting international trade through the Seafood expo global in Barcelona, where we host a UK seafood pavilion in partnership with DEFRA and DIT. If you would like to exhibit with us please fill out an expression of interest before 23:59 on 31 October.

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 christina.fallah@seafish.co.uk in the Regulation Team.