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Freshfields Risk & Compliance

| 1 minute read

Trade and Agriculture Commission reports on the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement

The Trade and Agriculture Commission has now reported to the UK Trade Secretary on the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement, as foreshadowed in our previous blog dated 27 January 2022.

The report concludes that the FTA does not require the UK to change its existing levels of protection in relation to animal or plant life or health, animal welfare and environmental protection; indeed, the report suggests the FTA reinforces the UK’s protections since it contains obligations that require the UK to maintain its statutory protections in the areas covered, and these obligations are also designed to ensure that Australia will not gain a trade advantage by lowering its standards. Finally, the report suggests that the FTA does not otherwise affect the ability of the UK to adopt protections in the areas covered, or the U.K.’s WTO rights to regulate in these areas. However, it suggests that in the future decisions could be adopted by the parties under the agreement that could constrain the U.K.’s freedom to regulate, and says it is important to ensure that the UK’s import control systems are properly resourced to be able to manage increased imports under the FTA.

You can read more of our Trade blogs here, and you can read more about our work in this area and meet our Trade team here.