Preparing for Brexit

​We are paying close attention to the United Kingdom’s negotiations with the European Union over the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. This agreement will set out how the UK leaves the EU.

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU at 11pm UK time on Friday, 29 March 2019.

If the UK leaves the EU without a Brexit deal, there may be changes that affect your business.

We are preparing for all possible Brexit scenarios and how they may affect Australian businesses and individuals.

We are:

  • focused on preserving and promoting our strategic and economic interests with the UK and EU
  • working to address any risks posed by Brexit
  • looking at ways to maximise opportunities with the UK and EU.

‘No deal’ scenario

A ‘no deal’ scenario means the UK leaves the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement.

You should consider how a ‘no deal’ scenario could affect you, and seek commercial and/or legal advice as necessary.

We have been taking steps to minimise disruptions for Australian agricultural producers and exporters.

Bilateral agreements

On 18 January 2019, Australia and the UK signed two bilateral agreements:

  • Agreement on Trade in Wine between the Government of Australia and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Agreement on Mutual Recognition In Relation To Conformity Assessment, Certificates and Markings between the Government of Australia and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

This means arrangements already in place between Australia and the EU, for wine and other exports, continue to apply to the UK post-Brexit.

These agreements are intended to come into effect either:

  • on 29 March 2019 UK time, in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit

or

  • at the end of a transition period agreed to by the EU and UK in a Withdrawal Agreement.

UK export conditions and requirements

The UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will continue to accept existing EU model health certificates and establishment listings relating to exports of animals and animal products from third country trading partners, including Australia, if the UK leaves the EU with ‘no deal’. This arrangement will be in place for at least 6 months after 29 March 2019.

Tariff-rate quotas

The EU intends to ‘split’ existing agricultural WTO tariff-rate quotas between the UK and the EU-27 post-Brexit. This will include Australia’s country specific quotas for beef, buffalo, sheep and goat meat, cheese, sugar and rice.

The Australian Government is currently negotiating with the EU and the UK seeking compensation as a result of the ‘splits’.

The UK Government is yet to release the full details of its agricultural trade policy following withdrawal from the EU.

We are progressing potential changes to the administration of the EU quotas in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit on 29 March 2019.

Find out more about export quotas.

More information

Australian businesses and individuals can read more about Brexit:

We will update this page as more information about Brexit becomes available.