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Since the United Kingdom (UK) referendum result on membership of the European Union (EU) in June 2016, Croda has been working to assess and mitigate the likely impacts of ‘Brexit’ on its customers and suppliers under a variety of potential outcomes. This update is provided to give information to our customers and supply chain partners on our preparations.
We are a global business headquartered in the UK. 5% of our sales are made to UK customers. We have 29 manufacturing sites, of which four are located in the UK, and over 4,300 employees, with 1,000 based in the UK. We have a small number of EU nationals working in the UK and vice versa.
Brexit focus areas
In our initial risk assessment, we identified a number of key areas of focus for a potential Brexit impact, including:
- Customer service and supply chain
- Financial performance, including the potential impact of tariffs
- Cash and financing
- Employees and mobility
- Regulatory frameworks and compliance
Our established Brexit project group has fully assessed each area and likely impacts have been evaluated. We are also represented on the Brexit sub-committee of the UK Chemical Industries Association.
Whilst we recognise that there remains significant uncertainty around the eventual political and legal Brexit outcome, based on our understanding today we do not believe that Brexit will generate unmanageable risks for our business. We believe that our flexible customer-centric business model will be able to adapt and respond to likely added complexities from Brexit. In the event of tariffs being introduced on trade between the UK and EU, the financial impact should be limited. We also welcome the prospect of a transition period to assist in further mitigating risk and managing short term impacts and disruption.
Customer service and supply chain
Since the referendum, we have been actively engaging with our customers, suppliers, advisers and other stakeholder groups to ensure that we have the broadest and most up to date view of the likely impact of potential Brexit scenarios, both on us and on those with whom we do business. We already have in place flexible production capacity in both the UK and Continental Europe, we ship product via ports that have greater capability to handle physical disruption and delays in customs clearance, we have Authorised Economic Operator (‘AEO’) status and we have extensive inventory capacity across Europe to protect customer service. In addition, we are adding distribution capacity and extending regulatory approvals within Continental Europe to supplement existing UK capabilities and registrations, as required.
We will continue actively to work with our customers and supply chain partners over the coming months to prepare and to monitor developments, in order to operate effectively through the Brexit period and beyond.