United Kingdom - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Barriers

Includes the barriers (tariff and non-tariff) that U.S. companies face when exporting to this country.

Last published date: 2022-09-12


Following a June 2016 referendum, the UK formally left the EU on January 31, 2020. To avoid any break in existing legal coverage and mechanisms, the UK passed legislation (The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018) to incorporate EU laws and regulations into domestic UK law, replacing references to EU entities and laws and regulations with corresponding UK references. As a result, beginning January 1, 2021 the UK and EU had virtually identical legal and regulatory structures, although the UK is now generally able to change its laws and regulations independent of the EU. The UK and EU negotiated a new trade agreement, the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), that as of January 1, 2021 continues tariff-free and quota-free access to each other’s markets without binding the UK and EU regulatory regimes. Under the TCA, if domestic regulatory systems diverge in ways that significantly affect trade, either side may seek to rebalance the agreement by modifying market access commitments. Changes to applicable UK laws and regulations have, at least initially, largely replicated those of the EU. In September 2021, the UK government announced a plan for regulatory reforms, a comprehensive review of the status and content of all EU law retained by the UK, and the creation of a new standing commission to review proposals for further regulatory reforms.

For information on existing trade barriers, please see the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, published by Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

To report existing or new trade barriers and to get assistance in removing them, contact the The Office of Trade Agreements and Compliance .

For more information and help with trade barriers please contact:

International Trade Administration

Enforcement and Compliance

Tel: (202) 482-0063