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Will The UK Face Pallet Crisis If There Is A No-Deal Brexit?

11 Apr 2019

Pallet Market Analysis 2016-2020

The closer we get to Brexit, the further away it seems. Meaningful defeat after meaningful defeat, slowly parliament seems to be creeping towards leaving the European Union. After almost three years of negotiations, how we leave is still anyone’s guess.

Earlier this month, it was reported that the government were to hold emergency talks with distributors across the country in relation to a no-deal Brexit. The talks came about after the government realised a dire shortage in the “right sort” of pallets needed to import and export goods if negotiations do eventually breakdown.

The main aim of the talks, held by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), was to talk to industry representatives about the best way of keeping household goods moving to and from supermarkets if the UK crashes out of the EU in the next few months, despite much opposition in parliament and the country.

If, for whatever reason, the UK decided to leave the European Union without a deal the vast majority of wooden pallets, used to transport the vast majority of consumer goods from chocolate to beer, will no longer meet strict EU rules created to stop the spread of disease, pests and contamination.

The main concern of government and distributors are that pallets might be prevented from transiting between the UK and the other 27 member states, which potentially could lead to huge food shortages for the UK. Over three million people move between the UK and the EU each month.

The UK government has already announced that all timber packaging, including pallets that are destined for the EU after Brexit must all be heat-treated or fumigated to comply with ISPM 15 standards. Currently pallets moving between both the EU and UK are exempt from this standard. This could obviously incur some considerable cost to businesses within the logistics sector. Early reports have already indicated that less than a third of pallets in use comply with the standard.

How Can We Help?

In the event of a no-deal brexit, there are many ways in which we are planning to support our customers with many of the challenges mentioned above. For more information or to discuss any challenges that your business is already facing, please contact a member of our team today.

Further clarification on the pallet requirements can be found here.

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