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FETA seeks member feedback on post-Brexit supply chain concerns

Views of the mechanical engineering sector now being sought over potential concerns of how Brexit may impact trade and supply of key goods and components

The Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA) is calling for member feedback over the potential impacts of Brexit on a number of key topics such as the complexity of their supply and value chains, as well as the current extent of exports and imports to and from other member states.

FETA said that the feedback would play a vital role in ongoing work with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to consider the impacts of its member operations.

As part of the European Union Relationship and Industrial Strategy (EURIS) taskforce the organisation is working on lobbying the UK government over the key ambitions it would hope to obtain, if possible, upon the UK leaving the EU.

Rules of Origin, which determine where specific products have come from to determine if they may receive preferential tariffs, is seen as one major issue to be addressed from the perspective of companies working in the mechanical engineering sector.

FETA said in a statement, “Post-Brexit (or at least after the transition/implementation period ends in December 2020) UK products and components will cease to count for assessing the EU origin of goods and systems and so will cease to benefit from current tariff-free trade with the EU and also any preferential tariff rates under FTAs the EU holds.”

“It is possible that a preferential tariff agreement will be negotiated and that the EU FTAs will be rolled over to continue to benefit the UK, but this cannot be guaranteed. There is also an ongoing risk that EU manufacturers who have UK content in their supply or value chain will switch that supply to within the EU27 to ensure the end products will continue to count as of EU origin.”

The organisation is calling for members to discuss their operations and supply chain challenges, along with the impacts of changes to Rule of Origin to help inform trade negotiations in Europe and other international markets.

FETA said it was also in the process of working with the UK Trade Policy Observatory based at the University of Sussex on producing a report considering how its members’ industry sectors will be affected.

The organisation said, “It is recognised that many companies may not have specific expertise on this subject as it may not have been a significant issue while the UK is an EU member state but if you can nominate somebody who knows the wider picture of your product manufacturing and sales cycle then that should provide the information required.”

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