We’ve prepared a statement in response to customer concerns regarding our ability to maintain uninterrupted supply of Ferbox – whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations on 29th March.
There are three key ingredients to fulfilling Ferbox supply, each of which are commented on below:
Our principal supplier of reinforcement is UK based and has issued the following statement to us:
‘Brexit should have no detrimental effects on our ability to supply reinforcing steels into the UK market. As you know we are an EAF mill. Our main raw material (100%) is steel scrap. This is exclusively sourced from the UK. The UK generates a surplus of steel scrap so Brexit should have no material impact on our ability to source sufficient scrap to keep our operations going.
Obviously scrap pricing will be a continually moving variable that we have to deal with but subject to us reaching commercial agreement with our scrap suppliers we are confident no scrap shortage will be experienced. Also, we are a steel mill who have been set up and whose strategy has been to supply the UK markets.
Again, Brexit doesn’t affect our strategy or our ability to achieve this objective.
I hope this clarifies our position and allows you to be fully confident in our ability and commitment to supply reinforcing products to the UK market.’
Our principal supplier of galvanised steel sheet is UK based and has issued the following statement to us:
‘We procure our steel principally from top tier European mills, fully export wrapped via cargo vessel to large ports throughout the UK. Due to the way in which our steel is sent from the mill (not a roll on, roll off situation) via large cargo vessels, all import formalities are dealt with prior to the vessel leaving and if any VAT is due on arrival this is dealt with by the trader/mill in question and in a small number of cases by ourselves dependent on the negotiated purchase contract. We do not receive any steel via ferry i.e. Dover/Ramsgate/Southampton etc.
We do not envisage any delays as a result of Brexit, but should there be for any reason, as a stockholder we keep ample stocks at the UK docks at all times so the usual high level of seamless service is maintained.
On the subject of any cost implications it is very difficult to assess as this depends on the kind of Brexit or no Brexit that we may experience this year or possibly in the coming years. Steel prices will increase/decrease due to market forces and currency fluctuations. With regards tariffs – should we be subject to WTO terms i.e. no deal, it is hard to imagine any scenario in which the UK government would want to impose hefty steel tariffs as we are a net importer. This last point can be revisited once we actually know what will be happening.
As a company, our Group is constantly in discussions with suppliers so in the event of any further information Brexit-related which could have an impact, positive or negative, we will convey this to our customers.
Essentially the message is business as usual.’
Invisible Connections’ workshop labour is currently 75% Romanian, 8% Polish and 17% British. By our understanding, the government’s default position will be to grant, not refuse, settled status to EU citizens already working in the UK.
The bigger risk is perhaps whether EU citizens continue to view the UK as an attractive place to work, which is dependent on the removal or introduction of any rules which may have an impact on them.
As a business, we’ve been pre-emptive to ensure that our pay, working and welfare conditions are attractive to all our employees, including our non-British colleagues, so that their loyalty can be reasonably relied upon.
Although none of us know or can anticipate all potential impacts of every Brexit outcome, we hope this information provides reassurance that supplies of Ferbox should be unaffected by Brexit.
If you have any specific concerns which have not been answered, please get in touch with Derek Brown, Managing Director.
We hadn’t typically gone the ‘specials’ route before. But, by investing a little upfront time to schedule our FERBOX requirements, we gained a smooth supply and installation process - without wastage or complication - and exceeded the programme demands of our slip-formed cores.