With the foodservice industry grappling with the fall-out of the coronavirus crisis, it can be easy to forget that there is also the small matter of the UK’s transition from the EU to think about.
The Foodservice Equipment Association has therefore launched a digital ‘Brexit Hub’ that collates information about issues foodservice equipment companies will need to address in order to get ready for Brexit.
Currently the hub, which is accessible via FEA’s website, has information from the European Union Relationship and Industrial Strategy taskforce (Euris) about planning for a no-deal scenario.
This details the major issues businesses will need to plan for, as well as recommended actions that will need to be taken in the six months remaining before the transition period ends in January 2021.
FEA is actively involved in the group, whose membership includes 15 other manufacturing industry organisations.
The group meets regularly with government officials, and acts as the interface between the foodservice equipment industry and 10 Downing Street.
A no-deal Brexit has the potential to disrupt every area of business. For example, intellectual property rights including patents, designs and copyrights could be affected. If a company’s IP rights might change, protective steps should be taken immediately.
Similarly, customs declarations are estimated to rise from 55 to 255 million annually, so businesses should increase internal capacity in order to handle the extra workload.
Another key issue is clarity on the role of CE marking and the UKCA mark.
Government has withdrawn its advice on this, but companies need clarity now on what they will be required to do. FEA, via Euris, is putting strong pressure on government to deliver this guidance and will upload it on the hub as soon as it is available.
John Whitehouse, chair of FEA, said: “Preparing for Brexit and its possible outcomes was always going to be a huge challenge for the foodservice equipment industry. The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly made this even tougher, which is why providing a single hub for all the information businesses will need to know is vitally important.
“The FEA will be doing everything it can to ensure members will know all the changes they’ll need to make, and how to achieve them.”