EU auto makers call for action on urgent Brexit issues

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is urging Brexit negotiators to take action on urgent industry issues, including the impact on EU CO2 targets and the ramifications of tariffs.

The UK's car manufacturing industry

In 2015, 80% of cars made in the UK were exported

With just a few days to go until the EU summit, where the 27 heads of state are set to approve the European Council’s Brexit guidelines, the association has highlighted that negotiations must consider whether the UK car market, the second biggest in the EU, will still count for reaching the 2021 CO2 targets.

According to the ACEA, excluding UK data from the CO2 calculations would leave very limited time for the industry to readjust compliance strategies for reaching the stringent 2021 targets and so the association is calling for the current system to be retained, with overall fleet compliance being based on CO2 data from the 27 EU member states, plus the UK.

The ACEA also highlighted issues with type approval by UK authorities and whether cars approved by UK authorities would still be able to be sold in the EU after Brexit, and vice versa.

In response, the association recommended that the EU and the UK mutually recognise each other’s vehicle approvals after Brexit – something which would only be possible if the UK remains fully aligned with all relevant EU legislation.

The ACEA also warned about the cost and productivity impacts of any new custom checks on deliveries and said that regardless of any decisions on a customs union, it is essential that EU and UK authorities already now start preparing to simplify customs procedures and to reinforce their customs capacity.

Finally, the association said the potential application of tariffs (10% for passenger cars and 10% or 22% for commercial vehicles) in a so-called ‘cliff-edge’ scenario “would be extremely burdensome for automobile manufacturers and consumers alike”.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.