Search for:

There are already big reforms planned for the UK Trade Remedies Authority (“TRA”) – less than two years after its establishment – and for the overall operation of the UK trade remedies regime. On March 9, the UK Government announced changes to its trade remedies regime to transition to a more complex investigatory regime.

Changes include:

  1. The TRA taking on responsibility for investigating bilateral safeguard cases as part of free trade agreements;
  2. Greater Ministerial powers to:
    • request the TRA provides alternative options to its main recommendations, as required;
    • override the TRA’s Economic Interest Test (“EIT”) on public interest grounds (allowing Ministers to apply measures even if the EIT is not met);
    • ask the TRA to re-evaluate a recommendation; and
    • take a different decision to that recommended by the TRA.

The framework of proposed changes will also require the TRA to notify Ministers before initiating new investigations.

Potential Impact of Reforms

Perhaps the two greatest envisioned changes are giving the government the power to apply and revoke measures absent the TRA’s recommendation. In that regard, Ministers will be able to apply an alternative remedy to that recommended by the TRA (on the condition that there is supporting evidence to do so and it is in the public interest even if the EIT is not met). Likewise, Ministers will be able to revoke trade remedy measures without the need for a TRA recommendation if retaining a measure is no longer in the public interest.

While public interest considerations seem to still make up an integral part of the process, this may be an indication that the importance of the EIT mechanism itself is being diluted. The EIT is unique to the UK trade remedies regimes. The TRA must carry out the EIT to determine whether the proposed trade remedy measure would be in the UK’s broader economic interests. Relevant considerations under the EIT include: the significance of affected industries/consumers (in terms of Gross Value Added, turnover and employment) and the impact of the remedy on affected UK industries/consumers, geographic areas or particular groups.

Next Steps:

The TRA is working with the Department for Business and Trade (“DBT”) and will be setting up joint round-tables for interested stakeholders to explain the proposed changes. Legislative amendments will be proposed in the Finance Bill, due later this month. If you would be interested in receiving further information in respect of the UK trade remedies regime, please get in touch with our team. 


Jennifer Revis is a partner in Baker McKenzie's London office and co-leads our EMEA Customs Team.
Jennifer focuses her practice on the public regulation of international trade, particularly in a wide range of customs compliance issues. She regularly advises clients on import matters, including customs valuation, rules of origin, and classification. She has worked with clients designing and implementing their compliance programs, policies, procedures and risk assessments, and assisting them in customs audits. She has significant experience in managing global customs projects and disputes, particularly in the area of customs valuation (transfer pricing; assists; royalties). Jennifer also advises on FTAs and trade remedies matters.
Jennifer has been consistently recognised as a "Leading Individual" for Customs & Excise and “Next Generation Partner” for Trade, WTO Anti-Dumping And Customs. Clients describe her as "an outstanding customs lawyer and litigator with fantastic experience. She is also easy to work with and leads her team with aplomb", "without a doubt, one of the best customs lawyers in the business (…) with an exceptionally deep knowledge of customs valuation concepts, as well as considerable experience applying those concepts in a variety of jurisdictions."
Jennifer has been on secondment to the UK customs authorities (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) in their tax and excise litigation department and to the Firm's European Law Centre in Brussels.


Sven Bates is Of Counsel for International Trade at Baker McKenzie. He has spent the majority of his career at the Firm's London office, focusing on international trade compliance, trade remedies and anti-bribery. He has also practiced in Amsterdam and has previously worked for the European Commission and the Shadow Attorney General. Sven has extensive experience in particular in the financial services sector, and has undertaken secondments at a Tier 1 UK bank and the Lloyd's insurance market.


Courtney is an associate in the Competition, Trade and Foreign Investment practice group, with a focus on trade and foreign investment matters across a range of sectors. She joined Baker McKenzie in 2022 from another large international law firm where she also advised on a range of international trade matters, including a three year secondment to the trading entity of a global energy major. During her training, Courtney also spent six months on secondment at a multinational FMCG company where she advised on a range of matters concerning household brands, including in respect of commercial contracts, protection of intellectual property, product regulation and competition law.

Write A Comment