The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has welcomed the agreed Brexit trade deal, pointing to particularly positive aspects that provide foundations for the future of the UK aftermarket and its relationship with the European Union (EU).
Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, is remaining hopeful: “This news is a step in the right direction for the automotive aftermarket, as the alternative – a no-deal Brexit – would have been a disaster. Although there is still much work to be done around Rules of Origin and its complexities, many businesses within the aftermarket have been trading outside of the EU for several years and therefore will already be very familiar with the rules and regulations in this regard.”
However, whilst in principle trade remains tariff free for goods produced in the EU or UK, there will be implications for product sourced from outside of the EU zone.
Williamson added: “For so many years, we have been used to taking the EU rules for granted but we will inevitably see a change. For example, Far East sourcing is common among UK businesses, and there could be implications for additional tariffs for both importing and exporting, as we no longer have free transfer of goods on non–EU/UK products in the EU. Plus, of course, there will be an additional administrative burden involved in the process, which potentially will be more time consuming and attract additional costs.
“Businesses have very little time to acclimatise to the new way of working and we will do all we can to work with members to ensure a seamless phase-in period.”