London – United Kingdom chemicals manufacturers still face major costs related to Brexit. This is in spite of the zero-tariff terms in the trade deal agreed between the UK and the EU, the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) has warned.
Brexit likely to cost UK chemical sector over $1.36B per year
The imposition of tariffs could have resulted in annual costs of at least 1 billion pounds ($1.36 billion), according to Steve Elliott, CIA’s CEO. However, the industry has yet to see the full detail of the agreement signed on Dec. 24, 2020.
"We have consistently called for the threat of tariffs to be avoided, so we very much welcome the commitment and hard work from both parties in securing that outcome," he said.
Elliott highlighted the extent of regulatory cooperation agreed with regard to the industry’s REACH responsibilities. Failure to secure access to a decade’s worth of investment by UK chemical companies in data for EU REACH will mean a bill of more than 1 billion pounds to unnecessarily duplicate that work for a new UK regime, he said.
"All our efforts now must be focused on working with the authorities to deliver a chemicals regulatory regime that is efficient, innovation-friendly and sensitive to international competitiveness," Elliott said. "Such an approach will also enable us to provide reassurance over any health and environmental concerns."
He added that, although this Free Trade Agreement represents a mixed bag for the industry, the value it brings in terms of certainty should not be underestimated. "A predictable trading environment with our most important market-place, coupled with emergence from coronavirus, should make 2021 a year to look forward to," he said.
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