CLEPA warns of the effects of a no deal Brexit to the automotive suppliers´ industry

The informal summit in Salzburg will see a special meeting of EU-27 leaders, without UK Prime Minister Theresa May, to discuss Brexit. No formal conclusions are prepared, however it is expected, that this meeting will set the stage for further Council meetings focussed on Brexit and the possible conclusion of a withdrawal agreement to kick off the transition period following March 2019.


“The automotive industry is operating highly integrated supply chains. Parts, components and vehicles cross borders many times before reaching the consumer. Frictionless trade as well as regulatory certainty is important. Brexit impacts both and it is important to make progress on these aspects soon”, says Sigrid De Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA, the European association of the automotive suppliers.

“It would be very positive, if the informal summit would unlock progress on the way towards an agreement between the EU and the UK on the future relationship, including a transition period and avoiding a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. A no-deal Brexit would be seriously damaging to the supplier’s industry in Europe and the UK. The current uncertainty about the way forward is amongst the key concerns for automotive parts and component manufacturers, as shown in a recent survey of the CLEPA membership.”


Automotive suppliers’ priorities for a future trade relationship cover tariff free exchange of goods, minimal customs procedures and access to trade preferences as provided for by the Customs Union. Furthermore, regulatory alignment and cooperation in the future are essential to avoid non-tariff barriers to trade.


“Validity of type approvals issued by the UK in the past are a particular concern and currently debated in the Council and the European Parliament,” says De Vries. CLEPA advocates that parts, components, systems and equipment bearing a valid UK type-approval certification at the date of Brexit need to maintain their access to the EU-27 market, therefore they need to be considered valid for placement on the market at any future time. In addition, sufficient time must be allowed to permit the application of the solutions provided with this new regulation, therefore this transition period shall cover at least the whole of 2020, with the option to transfer UK type-approvals also after their expiration. Vice versa, under the withdrawal agreement CLEPA calls for a safeguard that shall also be granted to goods bearing a valid EU-27 approval for continued placement on the UK market. “It is important that these points be taken into account by both the Council and the European Parliament when amending the proposed legislation.”



Note to the editor:

CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, represents over 3.000 companies supplying state-of-the-art components and innovative technology for safe, smart and sustainable mobility, investing over 20 billion euros yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers in Europe employ nearly five million people across the continent.



Facts about the European automotive industry:

  • Some 12 million people are employed in the European automotive industry
  • European automotive suppliers directly employ 5 million people
  • European automotive suppliers invest more than €20bn in RDI per year. They are the biggest private investor into research and innovation
  • Per year, 18 million vehicles are manufactured in Europe, contributing to the stability and growth of the European economy


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