Guide - 22 December 2020

The benefits of the United Kingdom-Singapore Free Trade Agreement

The UK-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (UKSFTA) was signed on the 10th of December 2020 and aims to provide continuity and certainty for businesses in both countries. Singapore and the UK have also agreed to start scoping out the modules of a UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA), with the aim of launching negotiations on the DEA in early Spring 2021.

Under the UK-Singapore FTA, companies in both countries will enjoy the same benefits they are currently receiving under the EU-Singapore FTA (EUSFTA). The EUSFTA will continue to apply to the UK during the Brexit transition period, with Singapore and the UK also working on an agreement to maintain trade continuity after the transition period ends.

The FTA will cover more than £17 billion (S$30 billion) of bilateral trade in goods and services and will also provide Singapore and UK companies with certainty and clarity in trading arrangements between both countries.

Key benefits for companies through the Singapore-UK FTA:

  • Tariff elimination for 84% of tariff lines for all Singapore products entering the UK. By November 2024, all remaining tariffs on products will be removed on certain goods.
  • Increased access to services and government procurement markets
  • Reduction of non-tariff barriers, including in four major sectors: 
    • Electronics
    • Motor vehicles and vehicle parts
    • Pharmaceutical products and medical devices
    • Renewable energy generation
  • Both countries will continue enjoying the benefits of comprehensive intellectual property rights 

UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement

Singapore and the UK are also planning to strengthen their trading relationship and will begin to start scoping modules for a UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA), with the aim of launching negotiations in early spring next year.

The DEA will facilitate more seamless digital trade and business between the UK and Singapore by promoting cross-border digital connectivity and interoperability of digital standards and systems.

The two countries have also committed to commence negotiations on a high standard investment protection agreement within two years of the UK-Singapore FTA's entry into force. They will endeavour to conclude the negotiations within four years of the FTA's entry into force.

Hawksford as your business expansion partner 

If you are looking to leverage on the bilateral agreements between UK and Singapore and expand your business operations into Singapore or the UK, Hawksford can help. We have dedicated experts in Singapore as well as the UK who can help you navigate the local business landscape and seamlessly expand your business operations.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for general information only and is not intended to apply to any specific situations or to constitute legal advice.

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