Back to Brexit

Back to Brexit


Today I wanted to take the opportunity to again highlight the actions and resources you should be taking advantage of over the four months as we lead into the biggest shifts in UK trade policies and regulations in a generation. You can find our Brexit pages under the members tab on our website. 

We know from 1 January 2021 there will be customs checks at the border between the UK and EU. This means that all our members who trade in products between the EU and the UK will need to be familiar with the Commodity Codes in chapter 44, for wood and wood products. We have broken this down on our website, including the Top 10 Commodity Codes that most timber traders will need to know.

We know from 1 January 2021 will have its own laws for trading timber which will replace EUTR. While in principle these regulations are carbon copies, since the EU and the UK will no longer be in a customs union it will mean that timber importers bringing the wood in from EU countries will become ‘Operators’ instead of their current status as ‘Traders’, and so will face new obligations. Our interactive guide and checklist will help you understand these changes.

We know from 1 January 2021 if a deal is NOT agreed between the UK and EU that we will be trading under UK Global Tariff rules. The UK Global Tariff will apply to all imports unless (a) the country or region has a trade deal with the UK, (b) the developing country has GSP status with the UK, or (c) an open Product Quota has been registered with WTO. We summarised these changes on the Brexit page on our website.

We know from 1 January 2022 manufacturers who want to supply the UK must use the new ‘conformance’ mark. Great Britain has developed its own system to replace CE marking. While the technical requirements are the same, the Government has made clear businesses must prepare for the end of recognition of the CE mark in Great Britain and affix the UK marking using a UK-recognised ‘approved body’ on 1 January 2022.

And there are things you should be doing right now to prepare your business for these changes.

Many of these first steps are displayed on our website, such as registering an EORI number starting with GB, and have been known outcomes for a considerable amount of time. Others, we understand some firms are still considering, such as whether to deal with customs internally or through an external consultant. In any case, we advise businesses to:

– Get familiar with our Brexit resources
– Apply for a Grant for the UK Customs Academy Course
– Communicate with your supply chain about any disruptive changes
– Write to your local MP to demand a deal with the EU

The primary position of the TTF is the UK should agree a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU. If this is not achieved, the Government should alter the UK Global Tariff regime to prevent market distorting tariffs on European panel products and laminated timber products.

There is still much we do not know and much that is yet to be decided by UK government either on its own or in negotiation with the EU. However, with only four months to go we can at least make progress on what we do know.

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