Brexit deal assures tariff-free trade for oils

A Brexit deal made at the eleventh hour between the EU and UK will mean tariff-free trade between the two regions, Olives Oil Times wrote on 4 January.

The deal was agreed on 24 December and came into effect on 1 January.

“The news is good in the sense that there are no fixed tariffs for the UK importing oils from the EU,” said Rafael Pico Lapuente, the executive director of the Spanish Association of Olive Oil Exporting, Industry and Commerce (Asoliva)

However, there would be some changes in the process of trading as goods traded between the EU and the UK would be subject to regulatory compliance checks.

This would mean additional paperwork, such as customs declarations, adding an extra layer of complexity for importers and exporters, Olive Oil Times said.

“The UK became a third country like any other, in which it will be necessary to do all the documentation and export requirements from Spain and the EU to the UK for imports from third countries of all documentation and phytosanitary certificates that, until now, there was no need to do,” Pico Lapuente said.

This could result in a delay to goods being processed and cleared through customs.

However, both parties would be working towards further simplification and standardisation of the data and documentation required by customs and other agencies, according to the Trade and Cooperation Agreemen published by the UK government.

“At the beginning of everything, there will always be a small delay in the clearance of shipments made to the UK because you will have to hire customs agents,” Pico Lapuente said. “Also, UK importers will have to process all the necessary documentation for imports at their customs.” However, he said he did not believe this would be a big problem.