“WTO schedules are legal instruments that describe the treatment a member must provide to the trade of other WTO members. They are one of the main WTO tools to ensure transparency, security, and predictability for world trade.”
Schedules are decided on by means of negotiation between WTO members. Because the UK is in the process of leaving the European Union (EU), the government is required to propose this country’s own schedules as an independent WTO entity, separate from the EU. This policy is a promise to do just that.
In July 2018, the Secretary of State for International Trade announced that he had sent the proposed new UK schedule for goods to the WTO. On December 3rd 2018, it was announced that the same step had been taken for the UK’s services schedule.
This policy promises not only to submit the schedules, but also that they will be “in alignment with EU schedules”. So it is important to note the following claim from the government regarding the new schedules:
“These schedules replicate as far as possible the UK’s current obligations such as they exist in the EU’s schedules.”
We’ll keep tracking the certification process, but as the schedules have been lodged with the WTO and the government believes they align with the existing EU schedules, we’re marking this as ‘done’. Follow this policy for updates.
Lodge the details
- World Trade Organization
- Backbone of the multilateral trading system: WTO goods schedules – World Trade Organization
- Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU – BBC News
- Submission of UK’s Goods Schedule at the World Trade Organization:Written statement – HCWS878 – Parliament.uk
- Schedule XIX [Goods] – United Kingdom – Gov.uk
- Liam Fox submits services schedule to WTO – Gov.uk
- Certification of Schedule of Specific Commitments [Services] – Gov.uk
- UK goods and services schedules at the WTO – Gov.uk
- Taiwan objects to Britain’s post-Brexit WTO services trade arrangement – Reuters
- Explainer Blogs: UK WTO Schedules – What’s Going On Now? – Trade Explained