31 Oct
European Council about Brexit

Tariff rate quotas for EU27 : EU ambassadors agree on the European Council’s position

EU ambassadors today agreed, October 31, on the draft schedule of tariff rate quotas (TRQs) that the EU will apply after Brexit. The schedule will now have to be agreed with the European Parliament before it becomes EU law.

The impact of Brexit

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 Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The existing quantities of the EU’s WTO bound TRQs for agricultural, fish and industrial goods have been established on the basis of the UK being an EU member state and forming part of the EU 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 WTO bound 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 the tariff rate quotas for the period between the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the conclusion of a final agreement within the WT.

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By: Estela Martín

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