The UK's trade agreements – interactive maps

Overview

Following Brexit, the UK Government is keen to boost trade with countries outside the EU. Our interactive maps show the extent of the UK's global network of free trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties. You may also be interested in our business-friendly guide to the UK-EU Brexit trade deal.

Last updated February 2022.

Now Reading

Free trade agreements

The UK currently has free trade agreements in force with over 60 countries and is in the process of negotiating new trade agreements with a number of other territories. See the notes below for further explanation relating to this interactive map. The map allows you to zoom in on a particular geographic area. You can also look up a particular country by using the search box at the top left of the map.


Notes on the interactive map

When you click on a country with which the UK either has a free trade agreement or is in negotiations to conclude one, you can access additional information about that country as follows:

  • Status:  "Full ratification" means that the trade agreement has been fully ratified by the relevant state legislature(s). "Provisional application" means that although full ratification has yet to take place, the agreement is being applied on a provisional basis (and therefore businesses can benefit from it, notwithstanding the lack of formal ratification). "Agreed in principle" means that whilst negotiations are at an advanced stage and a formal agreement is more likely than not, it has yet to be signed and is not yet in force.  "In negotiations" means that talks have commenced – see the "Additional notes" field for updates on progress.

  • Type: "Continuity trade agreement" means an agreement which is largely based on a trade agreement originally put in place by the EU, from which the UK could benefit as an EU Member State. These agreements account for the majority of the UK's current network of free trade agreements. "New post-Brexit UK-specific deal" means an agreement which does not necessarily follow the same template as the "continuity trade agreements" (which were based on the EU's drafting).  At the time of updating, the only such agreement in force was between the UK and Japan – but others are in the process of being negotiated or implemented (see below under the heading "New trade agreements"). 

  • Total UK trade: These figures are based on 2020 data from the UK Department for International Trade. They do not necessarily reflect the total amount of trade with the relevant country which benefits directly from the provisions of the relevant trade agreement, which is likely to be lower than the total given.

  • Mutual recognition of product conformity?: Some trade agreements provide for countries to recognise each other's processes for testing certain products, particularly as regards safety issues. In practical terms, this means that tests to demonstrate compliance with the regulations of the country of import can in some cases be carried out by approved testing bodies in the country where the exporter is based and may not have to be repeated by equivalent bodies in the country of import. In some cases (e.g. the US), such arrangements exist in the form of a standalone agreement, independent of any free trade agreement. However, such mutual recognition arrangements are often confined to a limited range of goods (see, for example, the US-UK agreement noted above) and it should not be assumed that all products are covered.

  • Customs cooperation?: Some trade agreements provide for countries to cooperate on customs matters, with a view to easing border red tape. In some cases (e.g. China), such arrangements exist in the form of a standalone agreement, independent of any free trade agreement.
New trade agreements

The map indicates a number of countries with which the UK is in the process of negotiating or implementing new trade agreements (Australia, India, New Zealand and the US). However, this does not currently include all the countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which the UK has also applied to join (and accession talks commenced in June 2021). The problem with displaying these on the map is that the UK already has trade agreements with 7 of the CPTPP's current members (Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam) and is in the process of negotiating or implementing trade agreements with two more members (Australia and New Zealand). The only other current CPTPP members are Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia, although China has also applied to join. If and when UK accession to the CPTPP has been agreed, we will update the map accordingly. The UK Government has also stated that it wishes to open trade negotiations with:

  • Canada, Israel and Mexico to expand the continuity trade agreements currently in place; and

  • the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates)

If and when formal negotiations are commenced, we will update the map accordingly.

PLEASE NOTE: This information provides a high-level overview of the UK's free trade agreements and related arrangements such as agreements on customs cooperation or mutual recognition of product conformity. This is neither to be relied on as legal advice, nor is it intended to be a comprehensive overview or description of the provisions of those agreements. If you need more information, please get in touch. Much of the information was obtained from the UK Government's guidance on UK trade agreements with non-EU countries and its trade and investment factsheets.  

Bilateral investment treaties

Bilateral Investment Treaties or BITs give investors from the UK protection where they make an investment in the "host state" (i.e. the other party to the BIT) – and vice versa where the other party's investors make investments in the UK. In particular, they allow the investor to take action in their own right to protect their investment or obtain compensation (as opposed to having to ask their own government to raise the matter on a state-to-state basis). For more detail, see BITs and the post-Brexit investment landscape

As highlighted by our interactive map, the UK has an extensive network of BITs. This makes it a potentially attractive jurisdiction for incorporating investment vehicles which can then be used to invest in countries with which the UK has concluded a BIT. However, the BIT must have been brought into force - and the actual terms of the relevant BIT should always be reviewed to ascertain the level of protection offered. Some of the countries with which the UK has BITs are very small, but the map allows you to zoom in on particular geographic areas. You can also look up a particular country by using the search box at the top left of the map.

PLEASE NOTE: This information provides a high-level overview of the UK's Bilateral Investment Treaties. This is neither to be relied on as legal advice, nor is it intended to be a comprehensive overview or description of the provisions of those agreements. If you need more information, please get in touch. The information on BIT status was obtained from the UNCTAD International Investment Agreements Navigator and UK Treaties Online.

Key Contacts

Read Jonathan Rush Profile
Jonathan Rush
Read Rachel Woodburn Profile
Rachel Woodburn
Back To Top