Logistics UK, the trade group which represents logistic workers, has warned that a no deal Brexit will add more than £240m to the industry’s annual bills, due to the imposition of WTO tariffs on new vehicles, parts and equipment.
It’s believed that more than 70% of heavy good vehicles are manufactured in the EU, and new vehicles will incur a 10% tariff if the UK leaves the EU without a deal at the end of December.
The trade group has estimated that with around 48,500 trucks bought by UK businesses each year, owners will now be charged £7,000 or more per vehicle, bringing the total tariff to £240m.
Chief executive David Wells explained that an additional 4% tariff on tyres for vehicles and around the same level for spare parts from the EU will equate to a “massive tax” on logistics companies already “reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 economic downturn.”
He said: “This [tariffs] could be the final straw for many businesses in our sector – as the industry that drives the heart of the UK economy while operating on 2% margins, we simply cannot afford these sorts of sums and they will inevitably be passed on to the consumer in higher prices.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg, with a raft of new tariffs applying indirectly to logistics and other sectors involved in the supply chain, and to the direct costs of thousands of goods from new cars to fresh foods unless the UK agrees a free trade deal with the EU.”
He added: “Prices of many everyday items that we buy from the EU will rise as a result, and that inflationary pressure would crush any hope of swift economic growth at a time when we need UK PLC to be standing strong.”
“Government needs to agree a deal with the EU so that our sector, and the economy at large, can start to build back better with confidence.”