24 June 2016

UK Referendum: CLECAT following effect on trade

CLECAT has been following closely the results of the 23 June referendum in the UK, which saw British voters choose to leave the European Union.  Nicolette van der Jagt, Director General of CLECAT said that she had hoped for a different outcome, and that the EU will in the future miss policy input of a country which has been a driving force for the single market, better regulation and open global trade.

While the terms of Britain’s leaving the EU remain to be negotiated, Brexit will surely have an impact on trade and the logistics sector. The transport and logistics sector is currently subject to an extensive body of EU regulation, which may require replacement or full renegotiation, including for market access, safety, security and environmental protection.

Tariffs may be reintroduced on trade between the UK and EU, creating new challenges for trade, along with the potential for other new customs rules. Nonetheless, existing international obligations, such as those issued by ICAO and the IMO, will remain in force.

CLECAT will continue to follow the negotiation proceedings for Britain’s secession from the EU and their effect on freight transport, and will keep members informed of the effect of Europe’s new dynamics on their businesses. It is hoped that the impact of the uncertainty during these negotiations will be minimal for trade. CLECAT has EU members and non-EU members in its membership like Norway, Turkey and Switzerland and will continue to support the business of the freight forwarding industry and the efficient movement of goods for their clients.  Britain may in the future be out of Europe but it will remain an important partner for EU member countries. 

CLECAT’s member, BIFA noted in a press release that ‘in the run up to that exit it will campaign to ensure that the movement of the UK’s visible import and export trade does not become overburdened by over complicated trade procedures.’

British International Freight Association (BIFA) Director General, Robert Keen says: ‘BIFA is a neutral body and will now be looking at the ways in which we can support our members as the forthcoming legislative changes become apparent between now, the day that the UK formally triggers the resignation process and the date the country’s exit becomes effective’. He added that ‘it is too soon to start speculation on the outcome of two years plus of negotiations regarding trade deals and movement of goods. ‘We will be making sure that those undertaking the negotiations recognise the fundamental role that our members’ freight forwarding services, including customs processing, play in underpinning the movement of the UK’s visible trade with Europe.’