IPCM n. 75 | May-June 2022

Page 118


British Coatings Federation Reports Negative Impact of Brexit on Coatings Industry According to the latest report by the British Coatings Federation, Brexit has had a negative impact on the coatings sector’s trade with the EU.


ccording to a new survey of British Coatings Federation – which

additional trading costs due to customs paperwork (59%); the impact of

set out to measure its member companies’ experience of the

future divergence of UK REACH from EU REACH (59%); and the impact UK

UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) – while a few

REACH could have on raw material prices in the UK (61%).

firms managed to retain or increase exports, the majority of survey

“The Government needs to work harder with businesses to help make

respondents saw exports to the EU fall over the past 15 months.

exporting to and from the EU easier, ideally looking to enhance the terms

Members also reported they had experienced a significant increase in

of the TCA. Instead, it looks as though things are moving in the opposite

operating costs due to the various new rules, procedures, and knock-on

direction with threats to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland

effects of the UK-EU TCA.

Protocol which could collapse the whole trade agreement. That would be

Conversely, there was, as yet, little sign of compensating growth in

a disaster for industry, especially given we are in the middle of the worst

trade elsewhere in the world due to new FTAs. Moreover, there is still

global raw material and supply chain crisis seen for a generation”, says

substantial concern about the future UK chemicals regulation regime,

Tom Bowtell, CEO of the British Coatings Federation.

particularly UK REACH, and how this will impact on future business

“Looking beyond the EU, we need to see more support for UK businesses


growing their exports to the rest of the world. At the moment, despite new FTAs being signed and talked about there seem to be few

Some data

opportunities developing for our sector. BCF will be playing its part by

Nearly one in six members (59%) reported increased operating costs

working with the Department for International Trade, most imminently

due to Brexit of more than 4%. Nearly a third (32%) said it had added

through a joint export seminar in Manchester next month”.

more than 6%. One in ten had experienced additional costs of more

“Finally, we must not take our eye off the regulatory ball. Our survey

than 15%. Nearly four in ten (39.5%) reported that exports to the EU

showed problems and concerns about UK REACH have slightly

had decreased, with a plurality losing between 6-10% of exports over

diminished since this time last year. This is probably because Defra

the last year or so, although some

has said they are looking at a new

significantly more.

model that should hopefully be

Logistics remains the biggest issue

less burdensome on industry.

for members: availability of hauliers

However, those concerns about

(69%), delays to shipments of raw

REACH are still substantial and loom

materials coming into the UK (67%),

large over our members’ future

and cost of shipping (64%) are the

business competitiveness. We need

most commonly cited ongoing

to see Defra come up with a new

problems due to Brexit.

approach for UK REACH as quickly

Nearly a quarter of members

as possible to provide businesses

(23.1%) reported that EU suppliers

with the certainty they need to plan,

no longer wanted to export to the

and the ability to access a full range

UK, up from 19% last year.

of necessary substances to aid

Looking ahead, regulatory issues still

innovation in future”, he concludes.

loom large in terms of worries over For further information:

future business competitiveness. The top three concerns cited were:


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N. 75 - MAY/JUNE 2022 - international PAINT&COATING magazine