Tariffs have been dropped on all UK goods exports to Australia and New Zealand, effective June 1, 2023, three and a half years after the agreement for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU came into force.
Flexible rules of origin on all UK goods exports to both markets are expected to play key roles in unleashing opportunities for UK manufacturers and retailers. Between 1999 and 2007, the EU accounted for 50-55% of UK exports. By 2022, this figure had fallen to 42%. The new free trade deals with Australia and New Zealand are expected to help UK companies rebalance their exports. Indeed, the UK government claims bilateral trade will increase by 53% with Australia and 59% with New Zealand. It also expects shoppers will see reduced prices on imported products such as wine, Tim Tam biscuits and kiwi fruit as more than 99% of Australian and New Zealand products will enter the UK duty-free. Additionally, from July 1, 2024, Brits will be able to stay in Australia for up to three years without having to meet specified work requirements.
David Jinks, head of consumer research at ParcelHero, said, “It’s been a while coming but on June 1, the first duty-free consignment was shipped to the area. The shipment included signed Beano comics, personalized Cambridge Satchels, Hornby ‘Flying Scotsman’ trainsets and Brighton Gin. The new deals look set to unlock a boom in trade with Australasia and help heal some of the cracks created by Brexit. ParcelHero’s Australia page gives full details on new customs advice, sending food, prohibited items, etc.”
The UK has also signed four trade pacts with US States – Indiana, North Carolina and South Carolina and, most recently, Oklahoma. The MOU with Oklahoma will focus on boosting green trade, particularly in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). “It aims to boost the £174.4m (US$218m) worth of goods UK companies exported to Oklahoma in 2022 and generate more jobs for exporters in the UK,” said Jinks. “Nearly 3,000 jobs in Oklahoma are supported by exports to the UK and nearly 10,000 people in the state are employed by British companies. Top goods exports from the UK to Oklahoma in 2022 included nuclear equipment, precious stones and metals, photographic equipment and medical and navigational equipment.”
Jinks added, “ParcelHero believes it marks a beautiful morning for UK-Oklahoma trade, creating jobs from Tulsa to the fringes of Surrey, on top of services worth £40m [US$50m] per annum. It’s likely UK businesses can’t say no to these new opportunities.”
Read more key cross border updates from the parcel and postal technology industry, here.