Preferential Trade updates 12/21

December 13, 2021

Australia, New Zealand ratify RCEP, world's largest trade deal

Australia and New Zealand announced that they had ratified the world's largest trade pact, which will represent 30% of the world's population when it goes in effect on January 1, 2022. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) joins the 10 Southeast Asian countries of the ASEAN group with China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia and New Zealand. The area covered by the agreement will account for 53% of the world's exports in 2020, Thailand's government said.

Canada and ASEAN agreed to proceed with free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations

Canada and ASEAN agreed to proceed with free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising 10 member states. As a group, ASEAN member state economies represent Canada’s sixth-largest trading partner (2020). In 2020, merchandise trade between Canada and ASEAN reached $26.7 billion, and there is potential remaining to significantly enhance the relationship. According to the 2018 Joint Feasibility Study for a Canada-ASEAN FTA, the economic modelling projects that an FTA could increase Canada’s GDP by US$2.54 billion and boost exports to ASEAN countries to US$2.67 billion.

In order to enhance our commercial relations and strengthen our presence in this fast-growing market, Canada is committed to negotiating a comprehensive FTA with ASEAN. This agreement would help create new market opportunities for Canadian goods and services, while supporting a more transparent and predictable environment for trade and investment.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will enter into force on January 1, 2022 

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) depositary institution ASEAN secretariat, issued a notice, announcing the Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, six ASEAN member countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and other four non-ASEAN members China, Japan, New Zealand, Australia have formally submitted for approval, thus the threshold has been reached. According to the agreement, RCEP will enter into force for these ten countries on January 1, 2022.

As Supporting implementation documents for RCEP, on Nov. 24 China customs also publishes Decree of the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China No.254., introducing the Measures for the administration of Exporters approved by the Customs; and Decree of the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China No.255., introducing Measures for the administration of origin of Import and export goods under the agreement.  

The EFTA - Indonesia CEPA entered into force on 1 November 2021

The Economic Partnership Agreement between the states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Indonesia entered into force on 1 November. In anticipation of this, on 24 September the Federal Council adopted the last ordinance amendments necessary to implement the customs concessions provided for in the agreement. It is hoped that the new agreement will stimulate trade relations between the EFTA states and Indonesia.

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) will improve market access and legal certainty for trade in goods and services. By the end of the tariff dismantling period, all customs duties will be abolished for 98% of Switzerland's current goods exports to Indonesia. The agreement also includes provisions on investment, intellectual property rights, the dismantling of non-tariff barriers to trade, competition, trade facilitation, trade and sustainable development, and economic cooperation.

UK trade agreements with non-EU countries

Find out about the trade agreements the UK has concluded that are in effect and the progress of our discussions with other countries. As of 1 January 2021, EU trade agreements no longer apply to the UK. The UK has sought to reproduce the effects of trading agreements that previously applied to it to ensure continuity for UK business.

Trade agreements in effect

Agreements with the following countries and trading blocs took effect from 1 January 2021. Where the agreement has not yet been ratified, provisional application or bridging mechanisms have been put in place to ensure continuity of trade.


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