Industry News

Timber Industry could face “£1 Billion Brexit Bill” if UK leaves Customs Union

The UK timber industry faces a potential “Billion Pound Brexit Bill” if Britain leaves the EU Customs Union, the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) said in a statement today.

“Some 90% of timber used in construction is imported from Europe, which British timber supplies are insufficient to replace,” says TTF Managing Director David Hopkins. “Under the proposed Taxation Bill, once the UK leaves the EU and its VAT area, VAT on EU imports will have to be paid up-front. This will cause considerable problems for the SMEs who make up the majority of our sector.”

The Federation today launched an infographic for legislators, Parliamentarians and the public, explaining what it calls ‘The Timber Tax Bombshell’.

Additional problems highlighted, not just for the timber sector but for construction supply chains in general, include potential delays, and greater costs for storing timber at ports and in administering customs checks and documentation.

“Builders’ merchants, and their builder customers, responsible for fulfilling government housing targets, rely on Just-In-Time deliveries of timber to premises and sites. Currently timber entering the UK from the EU clears ports immediately with no need for customs checks,” says TTF’s David Hopkins. “Over 60% of the timber used in the UK comes from Europe.”

The Timber Trade Federation is asking Government to ensure timber imports are able to clear customers in the same manner as present, with no delays or up-front costs likely to penalise SMEs, or to impact Britain’s housing supply chains. “The Government must also preserve the existing VAT payments system for imports from the EU, or put in place a new system which maintains the same benefits,” adds David Hopkins.

The timber sector currently employs around 200,000 people across the UK in manufacturing, distribution and construction. Every Parliamentary constituency benefits from jobs stemming from or connected to the timber industry. Timber prices in the construction supply chain to small builders have already risen by 8% in the last 12 months, according to the Federation of Master Builders. The TTF reports this is due mainly to the currency depreciation since the Brexit vote, and competitive global markets for construction timber pressurising supplies into the UK.

More info about the TTF's initiative is also available in the blog post by TTF Managing Director David Hopkins' here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/timber-industry-could-face-%E2%80%9C%C2%A31-billion-brexit-bill%E2%80%9D-if-uk-leaves-customs-union]

Timber Trade mission to Belarus scheduled for June 2018

Following a number of Belarusian-UK events in timber sector in 2017, the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange (hereafter – BUCE) in partnership with the UK Department for International Trade, the Embassy of The Republic of Belarus in The United Kingdom and the Embassy of the United Kingdom in the Republic of Belarus, have organised a timber trade mission to Belarus.

The visit - to take place from 17 to 20 June 2018 - is open for registration until 19th May 2018 and can host up to 7 delegates.

British companies will be introduced to the export sales of sawnwood from Belarus with the opporunity to meet Belarusian timber industry decision makers, including members of the Government, leadership of the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange (the only organization authorized for direct sales of sawnwood from sawmills), CEOs of Belarusian sawmills, traders and market experts.

Delegates will get in-depth information on :

  • Timber industry within Belarus, sawn softwood export conditions; FYI: 2017 Belarusian timber trade/average prices in 2017.
  • brokers services; pre-delivery independent inspection services; UK shipment services; discussing payment methods, long term sawnwood supplies etc.
  • side focus for refunded places: information on panel production (chipboards, particle boards, plywood, fiberboards MDF, floor covering: laminated floor panels, solid wood flooring, parquet, etc.), glued laminated timber, prefabricated wooden houses, gardening and fencing etc.
    Free transportation within Belarus will be arranged for you to the factories and mills, meetings with the top-management of the companies will be organized.

Highlights of the visit includes:

  • Visit to the “Belarusian universal commodity exchange”, presentation, timber products online auction master class, meeting with traders, accredited at BUCE;
  • Meeting with the Belarusian Production and Trade Concern of timber, woodworking, pulp and paper industry "Bellesbumprom"
  • Reception for UK delegation on behalf of H.E. Ambassador of the United Kingdom Ms Fionna Gibb
  • Individual visits to sawmills and woodworking factories, according to the interests of the each delegate.

Click to see the draft program of the visit for details.

For more info about the mission, click here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/timber-trade-mission-belarus-scheduled-june-2018]