Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on the elimination of customs duties on certain products

1. This Explanatory Memorandum concerns a co-ordinated Joint Statement made on 21st August 2020 by the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) on eliminating customs duties on certain products traded between the EU and US. This marks a mini-tariff deal - the first negotiated tariff reduction between the two in more than twenty years. Via this deal both sides committed to proceed with a trade-facilitating package of measures to remove or reduce customs duties on a small number of tariff lines.

2. As part of these measures, the EU Commission is proposing to eliminate Most Favoured Nation (MFN)1 customs tariffs on four lobster products, which the EU does not consider as sensitive products since the EU is a net importer. In 2019, the EU imported 42 million euro (£38 million) of these lobster products from the US. This compares to an overall lobster market worth 290 million euro (£262 million).

3. Meanwhile, the US will provide duty relief for a comparable economic value on products such as prepared meals, certain crystal glassware, surface preparations, propellant powders, cigarette lighters and lighter parts. The US has agreed to halve tariff rates on these specified products.

Topic  Trade 
Department  DFIT 
Council Reference   
COM Reference  COM(20)496 
SEC Reference   
PE Cons   
C Reference   

Associated file(s)

  1. 19 October 2020 Hands-Cash - 120 KB - pdf
  2. COM(20)496 - 263 KB - pdf
  3. EM COM(20)496 - 120 KB - pdf

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