Brexit: trade in goods Contents

Appendix 3: Glossary

ACP countries

African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.


Authorised Economic Operator. The UK is part of the EU’s AEO concept, based on internationally recognised standards, which aims to enhance international supply chain security and to facilitate legitimate trade.


Customs Declarations Services system. A new customs system being developed by the Government, to be introduced in 2019.


Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada.


Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight; this is the UK customs declaration system.


Court of Justice of the European Union.

Common External Tariff

This refers to the tariffs imposed on all goods imported into the EU’s customs union from third countries.

Customs union

The EU’s customs union means that there are no customs duties at internal borders between EU Member States, the application of the Common External Tariff on imports from non-EU countries, and common rules of origin for products from non-EU countries.


Department for Exiting the European Union.


Department for International Trade.


European Economic Area, covering all those party to the EEA agreement: all EU Member States and Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.


European Free Trade Association This consists of a free trade area between the EFTA states (Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland). EFTA conducts FTA negotiations on behalf of its members. For those members party to the EEA Agreement, it also provides the basis for the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the EFTA Court.

EU Directive

An EU Directive is a legal act of the EU that is binding as to the result to be achieved upon each Member State to which it is addressed, but needs to be transposed by the Member State into national law.

EU Regulation

An EU Regulation is binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all EU countries from the date of its entry into force. It can be invoked in Member States without the need to be transposed.


Free Trade Agreement.


The General Agreement on Trade in Services of the WTO.


The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of the WTO.

Great Repeal Bill

It will repeal the European Communities Act 1972, which makes EU law part of the UK legal system, and will convert existing EU law into domestic law, wherever practical.


Generalised System of Preferences. The GSP allows developed countries to offer non-reciprocal preferential treatment to products originating in developing countries.


Gross value added. GVA measures the contribution to an economy of an individual producer, industry, sector or region.

Harmonisation of standards

The process of creating common regulatory standards across countries.

Inward Processing Relief

An EU scheme that permits relief from the payment of import duties and other charges for certain goods brought into the EU, in order to enable those goods to be used for manufacturing, processing or repair before they are re-exported.


Least Developed Countries.


Most favoured nation. At the WTO, members have to offer all other members the same level of market access (including tariffs) unless they have agreed a FTA, entered into a customs union or fall under another exemption.

Multilateral agreement

WTO agreements which all WTO members have to sign.

Mutual recognition

The principle according to which countries that have so agreed allow a product legally sold in one country to be sold in the other as well, recognising each other’s approval of products even though the standards the countries use are not harmonised.


North American Free Trade Agreement (between Canada, the US and Mexico).


Non-tariff barriers. This refers to all barriers to trade other than tariffs including quotas, rules of origin, embargoes, sanctions and regulatory restrictions.

Plurilateral agreement

WTO agreements that are not, and do not have to be, signed and ratified by all WTO members.

Primary commodities

These include raw materials, such as oil and metals, and unprocessed food (agriculture and fish).

Rules of origin

The criteria used to determine the country of origin for a product, for example to identify what tariff should be imposed on an imported good.

Schedules of concessions

These detail a WTO member’s specific commitments on tariffs and on some other restrictions to trade at the WTO.

Single Market

The Single Market refers to the market which exists between the EU’s Member States. It consists of the free movement of goods, people, services and capital through harmonised rules interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union.


Levies imposed by a state on goods when they enter or leave a customs territory.


Treaty on European Union.


Tariff Rate Quotas. Allow a customs territory to impose a lower tariff rate up to a quantitative limit, and then a higher tariff for imports after that limit has been reached.


The World Trade Organisation.

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