On November 14, 2018, almost a year and a half after the British public voted to exit the EU, the UK and EU reached agreement on the terms of separation manifested in a draft Withdrawal Agreement.  This draft text updates an earlier version published in March 2018. Subsequently, on November 22, the EU and UK published the accompanying draft Political Declaration that sets out key principles of the future relationship.  On November 25, the European Council endorsed these two texts.  This post summarizes the key outcomes with respect to trade in goods, the continued applicability of EU law and European Court of Justice jurisdiction, and dispute settlement during the transition period, as well as the framework for the EU and UK’s future relationship.
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On September 13, 2018, the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill received Royal Assent, formalizing its application into UK law as an Act of Parliament.  This date marks less than one year since the Cross-border Trade Bill, also referred to as the “Customs Bill”, was first brought before the House of Commons.  The initial scope of the Customs Bill, as well as the accompanying Trade Bill, was discussed in a previous blog post.
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This Trade Summary provides an overview of WTO dispute settlement decisions and panel activities, and EU decisions and measures on commercial policy, customs policy and external relations, for the first quarter of 2018.

If you have any questions regarding the above, do not hesitate to contact fclaprevote@cgsh.com or tmuelleribold@cgsh.com.

On March 16, 2018, the European Commission released a 10-page list of U.S. products it plans to impose “rebalancing” duties on, in response to the recently adopted US steel tariff measures subjecting imports of steel and aluminum to 25% and 10% duties, respectively (see here for our previous post on this).

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In preparation for its independent trade remedy framework, the UK government has launched a Call for Evidence on November 28, 2017 to identify UK businesses that produce goods currently subject to EU anti-dumping or anti-subsidy measures. Currently, all trade remedy activities applying in the UK (for example investigations, decisions, and monitoring) are undertaken by the European Commission under the EU’s common commercial policy.  Post-Brexit, the UK plans to operate its own trade remedy regime through the “UK Trade Remedies Authority”. (See here for our previous post on the trade and customs bills establishing these powers.)
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In November 2017, the UK Government took its first legislative steps in preparation for its post-Brexit trade regime.  On November 7, the Trade Bill was introduced for a first reading in the House of Commons.  Separate from the imminent trade deal it must strike with the EU (once progress on Brexit withdrawal negotiations are deemed satisfactory by all parties concerned), the UK is now sketching out its own international trade powers that will allow it to shape its relationships with partners worldwide.

Subsequently, on November 20, the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill (the “Customs Bill”) was introduced for a first reading in the House of Commons.  The core elements of these two bills are described below.
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