COVENTRY, UK — Reacting to the resumption of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks, the British Coatings Federation (BCF) has called on the UK and EU to reconcile their remaining differences and negotiate as soon as possible. The association stated “failure to do so would have a significant detrimental impact on the coatings sector across Europe, but especially on UK manufacturers.”

An agreement is needed to avoid tariffs being placed on future trade, which the BCF calculates would cost the coatings industry in the EU some £75 million a year in finished goods alone in both added import and export costs.

According to the BCF, UK companies would also be hit with tariffs on raw materials imported from the EU, putting up costs by between 0%-6%, adding yet more millions to the cost of trade in the future.

With time running out until the end of the Brexit Transition period, Tom Bowtell, CEO of BCF, said, “The UK coatings sector trades heavily with the EU. If tariff-free trade is not agreed as part of an FTA, then the coatings industry across Europe will see added costs of £75 million in finished products alone. The added tariff costs to raw materials are also likely to run into the tens of millions of pounds, and that will hit UK businesses harder than those on the continent.

“The clock is ticking. We need both the EU and UK to resume FTA talks as a matter of urgency and work to make the necessary compromises to get a deal done. And we need that deal to be agreed as soon as possible to give businesses the time they need to prepare for the final outcome.”