The UK was originally scheduled to leave the EU today (29th March), but as it currently stands the country is in deadlock over its withdrawal from the EU, and when and how that will take shape.

There is often a feeling that the questions surrounding Brexit far out way the answers. When it became apparent that a “no deal” Brexit was an increasingly likely outcome, gas sensor specialist Analox Group formed an internal ‘Brexit Team’ to plan for this scenario, regardless of what the latest updates in the news were predicting.

Emma Harbottle, Managing Director of the Analox Group, said the objective of the Brexit Team was to “understand the implications of moving to world trade organisation (WTO) rules on 29th March (2019) on our business, our customers, our suppliers, and our processes, and lay appropriate foundations to aid a smooth transition”.

The team has met every two weeks since its formation in Q4 2018, and includes people from different areas of the business who can contribute to the effort in very different ways – supply chain, contracts management, production planning and management.

Meetings have focused on a number of key areas, including:

  • Additional import duty that would be incurred from material purchased from the EU
  • Additional import duty that would be incurred by key customers in the EU
  • Obtaining preparation plans from key UK suppliers who purchase raw materials and components from the EU
  • Looking at increasing international trade knowledge
  • Making sure Analox complies with the recommended preparatory actions – such as having EORI numbers in place, obtaining Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status etc

Becca Dodds, Business Development Manager of Genius Gas Innovations, a new Analox Group division formed in November 2018, said the company feels as though it already has a lot of experience of international trade, its processes and level of experience are robust, and it trusts this will minimise disruption should the UK leave the EU without a deal.

gasworld spoke exclusively with Dodds to find out how Brexit could affect Genius Gas Innovations, if at all, and how Brexit will affect the industry, if at all.

Company

“As a business which has both domestic, international and European customers, Genius Gas Innovations could potentially encounter delays during export to the remaining EU countries, namely Italy and France,” Dodds said.

“Our shipping team have discussed how to manage this risk with our primary courier company who are confident that they have bolstered their export teams sufficiently to manage the increase in administrative demand, coupled with them rerouting all shipments through their air services rather than risking the channel crossing.”

The Analox Group of companies have successfully exported goods globally for almost 40 years, so there is a good understanding of the process with a proven track record.

Dodds continued, “From a purchasing perspective, the majority of the components used to manufacture our products are bought in the UK, however, there are a small number purchased from Germany and Asia.”

“For the components purchased from Germany, additional stock holding will be catered for to provide a buffer against any potential delays. One of the other risks are fluctuations in exchange rates. If the British Pound devalues, this will increase the material cost of our product which will need to be monitored and managed carefully to both protect the costs for the customers and Genius Gas Innovations’ profitability.”

“There are a couple of areas which could potentially cause issues for us and other companies alike. One would be an increased requirement for certificates of origin, which currently is a slow and cumbersome process with our Chambers of Commerce. Another is business travel disruptions to the EU, particularly related to potential increases in cost of travel health insurance.”

Industry

“The impact, assuming a ‘no deal’ Brexit, really depends on the individual businesses,” Dodds said. “If the business is a UK only trader, then the impact could be on the supply chain and/or labour sourced from other EU countries.”

“If the business is one that trades with the EU (but not with the rest of the world), then there will be work to do in order to set up their processes accordingly to enable them to trade internationally.”

“If the business already trades internationally, then it would be comparable to Genius Gas Innovations Ltd (part of the Analox Group).”

gasworld was speaking to Analox in early March 2019 at which time Brexit was still planned for 29th March. Given the political climate surrounding this subject, the situation is subject to change.