BREXIT DEAL EU - UK31 December 2020
On 24 December 2020, an agreement was reached between the EU and the UK on a new partnership. This agreement sets out the regulations that will apply between the EU and the UK from 1 January 2021. The European Parliament still has to give its assent at the beginning of 2021, but the agreement will be applied provisionally from 1 January 2021.
This means no import levies (eliminating the dreaded 8% for EU cut flowers) and no quotas. In spite of this agreement, phytosanitary requirements and customs formalities, such as phytosanitary certificates, import and export declarations and controls on both sides, as well as changes to the VAT levy, will apply from 1-1-2021.
The agreement between the EU and the UK therefore makes no changes to the previously published phytosanitary requirements and customs procedures for exports to the UK after 1-1-2021.
For floriculture exports to the UK, however, so-called rules of origin do apply in the agreement. This means that, under this trade agreement, only products of EU origin are entitled to the 0% import levy. For cut flowers and plants, "origin" means the country where they have been grown and harvested.
How to handle cut flowers coming from outside the EU, and traded through the Netherlands, is therefore more complex and not yet clear in practical terms. In principle, these products also have a 0% import duty in the UK, but not on the basis of the agreement between the EU and the UK, but, for example, on the basis of deals such as the Kenya-UK post-Brexit agreement or under preferential rules for developing countries applied by the UK, such as for flowers from Ethiopia.
RFH/Dutch Flower Auctions Association (VBN) will be entering into discussions with customs in order to clarify in the short term how exports of cut flowers not originating in the EU to the UK must be documented in order to obtain a 0% import duty in the UK for these products as well. We will be doing this in cooperation with the Dutch Association of Wholesalers in Floricultural Products (VGB).
We are also in close contact with the Department of Agriculture with the aim of exploring the possibility of agreeing on a more practical approach with the UK.
For information and enquiries from individual companies regarding exports to the UK, please refer again to the Netherlands food and consumer product safety authority (NVWA), Customs and Brexit-loket websites.
For any queries you may have for the RFH Brexit team, please use the following Brexit webinar address: