On 25 November 2018, EU leaders approved the agreement on the UK's withdrawal and future relations with the EU.
The Tank Storage Association (TSA), which represents the interests of 50 member companies engaged in the storage of bulk liquids and the provision of products and services to the sector, has issued a statement recognising that the agreement still needs to go through the UK parliamentary process before it is approved, but “cautiously” welcoming this progress.
The TSA said that it is essential for its members to ensure access to as frictionless a border with the EU and the rest of the world as possible following 29 March 2019, when the UK is due to leave the EU. In its statement, the TSA said that “[w]e do not believe this is possible without a deal in place”.
If the UK parliament approves the deal on 12 December 2018, the statement said, there will be a significant amount of work required during the transition period to finalise the details of the TSA’s trading relationship with the EU. It also highlighted several areas where detailed discussion and analysis is required. These include:
- Interpretation and implementation of the revised Union Customs Code (UCC).
- Clarity of processes once access to the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) has been lost. The Customs Handling Import Export Freight (CHIEF) system is scheduled to be replaced by the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).
- Ensuring that administrative burden is kept to a minimum relating to the handling of import and export transactions (for example declarations).
- Ensuring that there are no delays at border crossings caused by the need to process declarations.
- Duties and duty collection by HMRC are efficient and transparent.
- Changes that may affect cash flow (for example duty deferments), which may have a significant impact on the cost of business for importers and exporters operating in the UK, are kept to a minimum.
- Clarity on replacement for chemical regulations body, REACH.
The TSA said that “[w]e also recognise that freedom to negotiate the UK’s own trade deals following Brexit may introduce opportunities for business”, giving the following examples:
- Ending tariffs on bulk liquid imports from outside the EU (where those tariffs are currently in place).
- The potential to align systems and speed up related processes to account for customs duty like that currently in place for excise, i.e. via a scheduling process with relevant customs duties paid on delivery from warehouse rather than upon receipt.
- A simplified customs declaration process utilising technical solutions (and potentially mirroring EMCS) that can be applied to all imports and exports.
- Potential to grow Generalised Scheme of tariff Preferences (GSP) partners to assist in-country development and encourage tariff-free movement of essential goods into the UK.
The TSA said that it seeks “to ensure a frictionless efficient movement of goods and services in and out of the UK, with zero tariffs (where appropriate) and no delays at the point of import / export”.
It added that it is “critically important” to work with industry to understand any unintended consequences of changes to trade arrangements and customs policy, and that to that end the TSA is ready to work with government to ensure the very best outcome.
Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/tanks-terminals/26112018/tsa-responds-to-eu-approval-of-uks-brexit-deal/