Brexit FAQ

The UK Government has issued information for business providing guidance on how they should prepare in the event of “A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario)”

 

The purpose of this notice is to inform businesses of the implications for the trade in goods between the UK and EU countries and the actions they may want to now consider taking to mitigate the potential impacts in the event that the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 with no agreement in place.


Not sure what your responsibilities are? We have produced a summary of the responsibilities under INCO Terms 2010. Download it here

 

The buttons on the right hand side provide links to the latest TTF and government Brexit guides. This includes A ‘No-Deal’ Brexit: TTF’s Step-by-Step Guide.

IMPORT TARIFFS v. ZERO TARIFFS IN A NO DEAL BREXIT

Q&A - EUTR obligations under No Deal

When we leave the EU, will the UK have its own regulations to replace the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR)?

Yes, the UK government will implement its own UK Timber Regulation which will have the same requirements as the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT).

 

 

In a No Deal scenario, what will be the additional requirements placed on UK business?

If you are importing into the UK from the EU or the EEA, you will become an operator, You will need to carry out due diligence confirming your timber has been legally harvested.

According to the UK Competent Authority – Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), there will be a 12-month period of awareness raising to allow businesses to identify and adjust to any new obligations.

Workshops will be provided targeting businesses who may not have previously been required to carry out due diligence on timber products. However, in the case where non-compliance is identified, businesses’ previous experience applying due diligence will be considered.

If you are exporting to the EU or EEA , you may need to supply documentation about the source and legality of your timber. This is so your EU and EEA-based customers can meet the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) due diligence rules.

 

 

For businesses currently importing from outside of the EU, will there be changes to the current process?

There will be no changes to the current process. You’ll still need to carry out due diligence to confirm the timber is legally harvested if you’re a business importing from non-EU or EEA countries

There will also be no changes if you are a UK producer placing timber on the market for the first time, or, carrying out internal UK trade.

 

 

How will the UK Timber Regulation be enforced?

The way in which the regulation is enforced would stay similar to now but will apply to more companies who will have the responsibilities as operators. The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) would continue to check that appropriate records are maintained by businesses. The enforcement will be mostly likely focus on high risk product and supply chains.

 

 

Will the UK continue to recognise FLEGT licensed timber as meeting the requirements on EU/UK TR?

The government is working to ensure FLEGT licenses continue to be recognised in the UK in a ‘no deal’ scenario. The licences will continue to be verified by the Office for Product Safety and Standards.

 

 

I am currently using a due diligence system developed by a Monitoring Organisation (MO), can I continue to use them to help meet the regulation?

Monitoring organisations (MO) established in the UK would automatically continue to be recognised by the UK. The UK will not automatically recognise EU or EEA monitoring organisations if there’s no deal. The EU has indicated it will no longer recognise monitoring organisations based in the UK if there’s no deal.

TTF Advice

  • If you’re not already doing so, start establishing your product supply chain risk profile
    • For all EU products, find out about your product’s 1) Country of Harvest, 2) Country of Production/Supply, 3) Species, and 4) Certification Status
    • Identify products and supply chains that carry higher risks, i.e. products from non-EU forests, or products from countries with high prevalence of illegal logging  or uncertified products

 

  • Request due diligence information from your product’s supplier

 

  • Contact TTF for guidance and tools on how to carry out standard due diligence for your timber products

Trading with the EU

The following information comes from the government guidance paper – Trading with the EU if there’s no Brexit deal

 

A critical statement within this Government guidance is:

After the UK leaves the EU, in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, businesses importing goods from the EU will be required to follow customs procedures in the same way that they currently do when importing goods from a country outside the EU. This means that for goods entering the UK from the EU an import declaration will be required, customs checks may be carried out and any customs duties must be paid.

 

TTF members who are currently importing wood and wood products from both outside and within the EU will already have some or all the necessary systems in place. In this case it will be about increasing capacity to ensure these systems will also be able to handle all imports from EU countries.

 

TTF Members who currently only import from EU countries will need to look at developing systems, to support import declarations, customs checks, and payments for any customs duties required. In practice this means:

  • Register for an UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number
  • Ensure contracts and chosen INCOTERM used within such documents reflect that they will now be an importer
  • Consider how they will submit import declarations, including whether to engage a customs broker, freight forwarder or logistics provider, and what the additional costs of ding so is likely to be.
  • Investigate how to correctly classify and value the products they are buying from EU member countries, because this information will be essential to undertake import declarations.

 

The TTF is developing resources to help members address all for these points, and already has online guides to help Classify wood products for customs declaration. See links below

 

The government has also produced a very handy 2 page step by step guide to importing which can be found here.

Construction Products Regulation & CE Marking

The Construction Products Regulation CPR is classified as a “new approach” regulation and so the following information comes from the government guidance paper “Trading goods regulated under the ‘New Approach’ if there’s no Brexit deal”

 

A critical statement within this Government guidance is:

“Products that meet EU requirements can continue to be placed on the UK market without any need for retesting or re-marking, including where they have demonstrated compliance with EU requirements after exit day.”

 

This means that as a UK Manufacturer or Importer placing CE marked goods for construction on the UK market your business can, in the event of a deal or a no deal scenario, continue to operate legally without significant change.

 

Members are advised to check with their Notified Body to confirm they have the necessary arrangements in place.

 

As a consequence of leaving the EU, there will be changes in the longer term principally because the UK will no longer be able to participate in the EU structures developed for implementation of the Construction Products Regulation. This means to pursue the stated objective of “frictionless trade” the UK is developing a parallel system in which:

  • The Construction Products Regulation will become UK law.
  • Existing harmonised standards such as – EN.14250 for Trussed Rafters (used to demonstrate conformity with EU essential requirements) will become UK ‘designated standards’, used to demonstrate conformity with UK essential requirements. Which, immediately following exit these will be identical to EU essential requirements.
  • Notified bodies based in the UK will be granted new UK ‘approved body’ status and listed on a new UK database.
  • Approved bodies will be able to assess products for the UK market against UK essential requirements. Which, immediately after exit day in a ‘no deal’ scenario, will be identical to EU essential requirements.
  • A new UK conformity mark is being developed by the UK government which manufacturers selling goods on to the UK market will then be able to affix before placing a product on the UK market.

 

For UK manufacturers wishing to export and place CE marked goods for construction on the EU market, your business can, in the event of a deal or a no deal scenario, continue to operate legally provided the notified body you are using is registered in an EU member state or has a partnership arrangement with such a body.

 

Click here for more information.

Classifying your wood products for UK imports

The UK Government has issued information for business providing guidance on how they should prepare in the event of “A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario)”

 

The following information comes from the government guidance paper – Classifying your goods in the UK Trade Tariff if there’s no Brexit deal

 

In the unlikely event that the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 with no agreement in place, EU goods will be treated as goods from elsewhere in the world are treated now, until such a time as a preferential trading agreement can be established.

 

This means, that goods traded between the UK and the EU after 23h on 29 March 2019 will be subject to the same requirements as third country goods, including the payment of duty. Under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, the principle of most-favoured-nation (MFN) treatment means that, unless a preferential agreement is in place, the same rate of duty, on the same good, must be charged to all WTO members equally.

 

Two critical statements within this Government guidance are:

The UK will apply its MFN rates to goods imported into the UK from the EU. The government will determine and publish these new UK duty rates before we leave the EU. They may be different from the rates in the EU’s CCT.

The UK does not intend to immediately change the classification of goods in a “no deal” scenario. The UK does not plan any immediate deviation from the current commodity code list published in the UK Trade Tariff, which is currently applied by the EU, except where necessary to maintain alignment with international standards, or for trade remedies purposes.

 

These statements mean at the present time we cannot know for sure the duty rates or customs codes which will be applicable. However, HMRC already publishes tariff data online for use by UK traders with third countries and this can be used to provide a very good indication of what the customs codes and MFN duty rates are likely to be . The table below is a summary overview of the likely MFN duty rates and links to the relevant sections of the current HMRC tariff data.

 

The TTF has developed resources to help members including online guides to help Classify wood products for customs declaration, which can be found via the links below. If members have specific questions about classification of wood products, please contact the TTF.

 

TTF Guide to classification of Softwood

 

TTF Guide to classification of Hardwood

 

TTF Guide to classification of Plywood

 

Indication of likely MFN Duty Rates
Section within

EU Trade Tariff

Coniferous e.g. Pine/ Spruce Temperate e.g.

Oak / Ash

Tropical e.g.

Iroko / Meranti

Logs 44 03 0 0 0
Sawn 44 07 0 0 2.5%
PAR 44 07 0 0 2.5%
Sanded 44 07 0 2.5% 2.5%
Particleboard 44 10 7% 7% 7%
Fibreboard 44 11 7% 7% 7%
Veneers 44 08 3% 6% 6%
Plywood 44 12 7% 7 or 10% 7 or 10%
Packaging & Pallets 44 15 4% 4% 4%
Barrels 44 16 0 0 0
Tools 44 17 0 0 0
Builders Carpentry & Joinery
Windows 44 18 3% 3% 3%
Doors 44 18 0 0 3%
Glue laminated timber 44 18 0 0 0

 

Buying & selling timber

To continue to comply with the EUTR, EU and EEA businesses would be required to apply due diligence to imports from the UK. As a result, it is likely that UK-based exporters would need to provide relevant documentation about the source and legality of their timber exports to EU and EEA-based importers to enable their customers to meet their due diligence obligations under the EUTR.

 

The documents UK businesses should provide will need to allow EU importers of UK products to fulfil the due diligence requirements of the EUTR given above. EU and EEA businesses importing timber from the UK that is covered by a CITES import permit will not need to conduct due diligence.

 

The TTF’s technical notice provides further detail on the impact of a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit on the timber industry.

VAT for business

Find out how VAT could affect businesses in a ‘No Deal’ scenario here.

Existing free trade agreements

In a ‘No Deal’ scenario, the UK will replicate the effects of existing EU agreements as far as possible and activate these agreements from exit day where possible. You can view the paper here.

Trading & Moving Endangered Species Protected by CITES

This includes both endangered animals and plants. Find the government’s paper here.

Industrial emissions standards

How will a ‘No Deal’ scenario affect businesses whose industrial emissions are affected by the Best Available Technique (BAT) regime? Find out here.

Workplace rights

Find out how your rights in the workplace will be affect by a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit here.

TTF’s guide on which products will or won’t have import tariffs in a No Deal Brexit

Temporary rates of customs duty on imports if the UK leaves the EU with no deal

Forestry Commission shared four Brexit plant health related documents at the Brexit Transition Planning Workshops. Download them below. (01/03/2019)

Nick Boulton’s No Deal Brexit Presentation (25/02/2019)

HMRC released details of how to make customs declarations and how to make importing easier

The government published a one page guide to importing

The TTF’s Step-by-Step Guide illustrates what do in a ‘No Deal’ Brexit