EU auto group warns lawmakers to heed ‘disastrous’ Brexit consequences

Source: ICIS News

2018/03/19

Eastern Docks at ferry port of Dover, UK 2

LONDON (ICIS)--EU policymakers should be aware of logistic and environmental compliance issues for the automotive sector around Brexit that could substantially disrupt the supply chain for the industry, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said on Monday.

Ahead of an EU summit beginning on 22 March, which is expected to focus heavily on trade and exit terms for the UK from the bloc, the ACEA warned that significant shifts to automotive sale approvals post Brexit could be ‘disastrous’ for the sector.

The UK is the EU’s second-largest automotive market, and authorities on both sides of the channel should guarantee that harmonised safety standards remain recognised after the break-up, the ACEA said.

Continued mutual recognition of auto-making standards would be the most desirable outcome, but depends on how far-reaching changes are to UK legislation post Brexit.

“ACEA also recommends that the EU and the UK mutually recognise each other’s vehicle approvals after Brexit – something which would only be possible if the UK remains fully aligned with all relevant EU legislation,” the ACEA said.

Clarity is also needed on what the departure of the UK from the EU will mean for emissions reduction targets, which may leave vehicle manufacturers with limited time to adjust their emissions reduction strategies to remain compliant with looming new legislation.

The ACEA has been a vocal critic of European Commission proposals to cut vehicle CO2 emissions by 15% from 2021 levels by 2025 and by 30% by 2030, arguing the extent of the reductions and the window allowed for compliance does not allow sufficient time for companies to adapt.

“Excluding UK data from the CO2 calculations would leave very limited time for the industry to readjust compliance strategies for reaching the stringent 2021 targets,” said ACEA.

The ongoing lack of clarity about what the trading relationship between the EU and UK will look like after the departure date, means that customs authorities on both sides should already be working to simplify legislation and increase capacity.

“Otherwise we will see severe land and sea-port congestion at both sides of the Channel once the UK leaves the EU,” the ACEA added.

Pictured: Docks at the ferry port of Dover in the UK
Source: Markus Keller/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock