Existing Frameworks for How Trade is Facilitated Between Countries
The arrangements described in this section are examples of existing arrangements between countries. They should not be taken to represent the options being considered by the Government for the future economic relationship between the UK and the EU. The Government has been clear that it is seeking pragmatic and innovative solutions to issues related to the future deep and special partnership that we want with the European Union.
Globally, there are a range of existing frameworks which facilitate the interaction of electricity markets, both between the EU and non-EU Member States, but also more generally.
Switzerland has a series of bilateral agreements with the EU which give it access to the single market for certain sectors. The terms of a Swiss-EU electricity agreement are yet to be concluded.
More generally, countries which are physically connected may trade electricity, subject to the arrangements they put in place to do so. There are transnationalelectricity interconnectors around the globe. Arrangements for how electricity is traded over those interconnectors and brought to the respective markets differ widely, based on the particular arrangements of the countries concerned.
These existing arrangements provide context, but the UK has been clear that the future economic partnership between the UK and the EU should be ambitious and should not simply be based on an existing model. We will seek the best deal for energy consumers within this future framework.
Non-EU countries looking to export products into the EU will need to comply with EU Ecodesign and energy labelling standard requirements. Such products may be subject to customs controls to ensure compliance. In some cases, (e.g. with the voluntary US ‘energy star’ labelling scheme for office equipment), the EU has existing agreements in place with non-EU countries to ensure their mutual recognition with EU standards.
There are also some, mostly small, tariffs in place for environmental goods imported into the EU, some of which may be relevant to the electricity sector. The EU is party to the Plurilateral WTO negotiations to agree an Environmental Goods Agreement, which aims to remove tariffs on a wide variety (around 300) of such goods.