SMMT reveals Brexit contingency package
Bracing itself for a no-deal Brexit, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) launched a new Brexit Readiness Programme to help the industry, especially small and medium-sized enterprises SMEs in the automotive supply chain, prepare for the UK leaving the EU on 10 October.
While vehicle manufacturers and larger tier-one suppliers all face the significant challenge of Brexit, the vast majority of the UK’s automotive supply chain companies are SMEs, with 69 per cent employing fewer than 10 people.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, there will be new, potentially unfamiliar requirements for businesses. Calculations as to the value and proving the origin of goods will have to be made and there could be delays to the movement of components into and out of the UK which may require warehousing or changes to raw material stocks. New customs arrangements will present a particular challenge, not least the increased paperwork and time required to fill in more detailed customs declarations – customs guidance alone on moving goods outside of the EU stretches to some 88 pages. Furthermore, there could be cashflow implications associated with the payment of tariffs and other taxes.
Phase one of SMMT’s Brexit Readiness Programme sees five global brands from the legal and accountancy sectors join forces with SMMT to offer expert advice and consultancy services to members, including a free helpline for Brexit issues. These include trade and tax arrangements outside of the EU, customs procedures and adapting to regulation changes from chemicals to data protection, employment law and immigration.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “A strong local supply chain is the backbone of any manufacturing sector, and ours has thrived thanks to massive reshoring efforts and the ability to trade freely and frictionlessly with the EU.
“A ‘no-deal’ Brexit could have devastating consequences. With the clock ticking on negotiations, businesses must plan for all eventualities, including the worst. Our new support package seeks to mitigate the threat of ‘no-deal’ by helping businesses navigate the complex trade realities of a post-Brexit landscape.”