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5. Jul 2021 | Markets & Companies

BCF: UK REACH major threat to UK manufacturing

According to the British Coatings Federation, 70% of UK coatings companies believe their trade with the EU will decline.
Most UK coatings manufaturers believe UK REACH will impact negatively on their businesses. 
Image source: TheDigitalArtist - Pixabay (symbol image).

The latest survey of British Coatings Federation (BCF) members reveals UK coatings manufacturers are increasingly concerned about the effects of the new UK chemical regulations. Almost 80% of respondents believe UK REACH will impact negatively on their businesses, with the fear that there will be a significant reduction in the portfolio of available chemical substances in the UK compared to the EU, and 67% of respondents fear higher costs in the future where suppliers pass on the costs of complying with UK REACH. Worryingly, 19% of respondents are already reporting that EU suppliers no longer want to export to the UK.

Increased operating costs

The survey also reports challenges for the sector’s UK exporters - 60% fear that having to abide by EU REACH and CLP rules as a ‘third country’ will impact on their business competitiveness, and more than four in ten respondents (43%) reported increased operating costs of over 5%, with one in ten (9%) citing a figure of more than 10%. These additional cost estimates have increased considerably since the last BCF Brexit Impact Survey at the end of January. On top of these non-tariff costs, the majority of BCF members are still encountering delays to shipping between UK and the EU, and between GB and NI.

Overall, after experiencing nearly six months of the new UK-EU trading relationship, half of respondents are still concerned they risk losing EU export customers, and over a third now worry about their competitiveness compared to EU counterparts as a result of the Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) trading terms. 70% of coatings companies believe their trade with the EU, the sector’s main export market, will reduce, and only 20% see opportunities with the rest of the world from new trade deals.

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