BEIS, DEFRA and the Health and Safety Executive held a series of events across the UK to support chemicals businesses and downstream users in understanding of the potential impacts of EU Exit on their business in key areas such as regulations, tariffs/rules of origin and customs/border processes.
Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions of policy officials, advise Government on the impact of EU Exit on their business and help to shape the negotiation and policy positions that will support the sector.
NEPIC attended the London event on 23 November and planning for all scenarios was the key theme, recognising that at this late stage it is no clearer whether a withdrawal agreement will be ratified, and we enter an implementation period up to December 2020, or the UK will leave the EU in March 2019 with No Deal.
Given the far-reaching impact a No Deal scenario would have on industry, the presentations from BEIS, DEFRA and HSE focused on how that option is likely to affect pharmaceutical, chemical and related sectors in terms of REACH regulation, rules of origin and tariffs. There are 778 tariff lines that affect our industry all of which will have to be renegotiated in either scenario, with businesses likely to have to engage with UK and EU regulatory systems.
Going forward, BEIS will work with industry to develop sector specific negotiating strategies that reflect the needs and priorities of UK businesses and want to understand what the Chemical sector need from them and between now and February Chemical Panels will be arranged across the UK.
NEPIC will host one of these panels in late January, giving members the opportunity to gather information and contribute directly to the work of BEIS to ensure the voice of the chemical and processing sector is heard and that we work together to play or play in shaping fit-for-purpose policy and tariff negotiations.
Once the January date is confirmed for the North East Chemicals Panel event, NEPIC will issue an invitation to members. In the meantime, please find linked copies of the presentation slides from the recent EU Exit events for the chemicals and allied industries.