how Bad Berleburg. Although Brexit is only a few days old, its consequences can already be seen. Only shortly after the expiry of the transitional rules do the hurdles that the exchange of goods between Great Britain and the EU will bring with it or will bring with it become apparent. Because the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU internal market complicates or hinders the movement of goods with the European Union, and that despite the trade agreement that has now come into force – which is supposed to regulate economic relations. The Brexit thus also has far-reaching effects on the UK business of domestic companies in the region.
Great Britain left the EU single market and the customs union on December 31, 2020 at midnight Central European Time (CET). Shortly before – at Christmas – the European Union and the United Kingdom had agreed on a post-Brexit trade deal. The almost 1250-page trade and partnership agreement has been in force since January 1st and includes topics such as fishing, energy cooperation and social security as well as the new regulations for the exchange of goods and transport from the European Union to Great Britain or from the UK Island in the EU.
The main aim of the agreement was to prevent a severe break in the relationship between the 27 Member States and the United Kingdom. No customs duties are levied on many goods in bilateral trade. In addition, there are no quantitative restrictions on imports. At the same time, the exchange of goods between Great Britain and the European Union is also becoming more complicated. Companies on both sides have had to deal with more formalities since the turn of the year. In addition, British exporters to the EU must prove that their products were mainly manufactured in their own country. Evidence of compliance with EU rules on product standards must also be provided. The British government had already announced that it would carry out more controls and sift through papers when importing goods. Since the turn of the year, Brexit has caused new bureaucracy chaos.
Long-term consequences are not yet foreseeable
Regupol is particularly affected by this, because the UK business accounts for a significant proportion of the total foreign sales of the Bad Berleburg company, as press spokeswoman Elke Sondermann-Becker explained when asked by SZ: “Great Britain has developed extremely positively over the past 20 years. We have long-term partnerships with companies in this region and hope that this will continue accordingly in the future. “After Brexit and the entry into force of the new trade agreement, however, the company expects only minor hurdles:” For us, the only thing that changes is that additional documents such as z. B. must be completed for customs clearance. However, this approach is due to the cooperation with customers in other third countries such as B. already known to Switzerland or Norway. “
The press spokeswoman also made it clear, however, that the long-term consequences for the world’s leading supplier of sports and fall protection floors, anti-slip mats and products for impact sound insulation, among other things, cannot yet be precisely foreseen: “What is exciting for us is the development in the acceptance of currently valid European standards for our products. “
Even with the flow of goods – the entire route that goods take from the producer to the end customer – the company does not expect any longer delivery times or changes in supply chains despite Brexit. However, there could possibly be delays due to a lack of “freight capacities”, according to Elke Sondermann-Becker. However, the new agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom would not have any really positive consequences for Regupol: “We currently see no new opportunities. We are glad that a trade agreement has been reached and that no tariffs are due. ”
“We will manage that”
The effects of Brexit are also affecting the Bad Berleburg-based company Ejot, which, in addition to the construction trade, also manages the industry and automotive division and generates 4.7 percent of its sales with the UK business. “What is to come is an increased burden of bureaucracy. We’ll manage that, ”said Andreas Wolf. When asked by SZ, the Ejot press spokesman said that Brexit was “only a few days old”. Whether there will be problems in the future due to the new import and export formalities when exchanging goods. For example, longer delivery times or changes in the supply chain could not be foreseen at this point in time: “We will look at the processes in logistics, possibly with a changed inventory. That can also be solved, ”said Andreas Wolf optimistically. Despite Brexit, however, it is positive that the supply chains in the automotive industry “do not break down”.
The Bad Berleburg company planned an expansion at the Ejot UK location in Leeds (Yorkshire) around three years ago. Due to the “uncertain Brexit situation”, however, this project was initially put on “standby”. When Ejot wanted to implement the plan in 2020 – “because capacity expansion at the site is necessary” – the virus, which was rampant worldwide, prevented the project from starting: “Because of the spreading corona pandemic, we waited again”, explained Andreas Wolf. Last October, the company finally started building the extension in Great Britain.