Date: 31.03.2021

Latest market update ; The new EU trading relationship

While the EU/UK vaccine spat has underlined the interconnectivity of supply chains, Boris Johnson is putting an invisible trade barrier between France and the UK and 25% of UK SMEs have stopped exporting to the EU altogether.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is under fire from the EU’s leaders, for the slow rollout of Europe’s vaccine program and her complaint that the European Union has exported millions of vaccines to Britain and the rest of the world and received little in return, led her to threaten vaccine maker AstraZeneca Plc’s continental plants with an export ban.

The danger with disrupting global supply chains is that they are large, complex and interrelated, which means you may inadvertently harm yourself, with unintended consequences.

The Turkish-German BioNTech vaccine preferred by Brussels is actually manufactured by the US pharma giant Pfizer and requires 286 materials from 86 suppliers in 19 countries, including nanoparticles that are made in and supplied from England.

For now, the EU has endorsed the Commission’s right to stop vaccine exports in theory, but in practice it has refused to press the button…….so far.

Despite growing infection rates, France has not been added to the UK’s travel “red list”, with the Prime Minister stating, that with 75% of the UK’s medicines and 50% of its food coming across the Channel there was a balance needed between protecting public health and keeping trade flowing.

In new rules effective from Tuesday 6th April lorry drivers (and other specified workers) entering England from outside the UK for more than two days will need to take a Covid-19 test within 48 hours of arrival and those remaining in the UK for longer than two days will be required to take additional tests every three days.

The ruling will apply to drivers and crews of HGVs and drivers of vans and other light goods vehicles. It applies to both UK-based and non-UK hauliers.

The tests for lorry drivers will be available free at more than 40 government haulier advice sites, with fines of £2,000 for those failing to comply.

Click HERE to see the map of Government Haulier Advice sites.

One in four small U.K. exporters have halted sales to the European Union because of red tape caused by Brexit, a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses has discovered.

The survey found that 23% of exporters have temporarily halted sales to EU customers and a further 4% have decided to stop selling into the BLOC permanently after new trading rules took effect from the start of the year, post Brexit.

The vast majority of those doing business with Europe have been hit by shipment delays, significant cost increases with customs formalities and freight pricing and many are considering establishing a presence in an EU country to ease their exporting process, according to the survey of almost 1,500 firms.

Metro continue to monitor and manage the situation as it develops and we offer tailored customs brokerage solutions through our CuDoS platform and have access to many of the largest European haulage networks, including within our own group of companies. 

We have extended our solutions throughout the Continent and can assist you in ensuring that your supply chains are impacted as little as possible with agile and creative options to move your products into, out of and within Europe. 

For further information please contact Elliot Carlile or Grant Liddell to organise a full review and discussion relating to current issues that you may be facing.