Since the UK referendum result on membership of the European Union (EU) in June 2016, KeTech has been working to assess and mitigate the likely impacts of ‘Brexit’ on its customers and suppliers under a variety of potential outcomes. Given the continued uncertainty around what will happen at the end of March 2019 and beyond, we have focussed recent efforts on preparing for a “no deal” or “hard” Brexit.
Our fundamental objective is to ensure that we offer continuity of service and supply to our customers, wherever they are, and this statement is provided to give further information to our customers and supply chain partners on how we plan to achieve this objective.
KeTech’s operations are based entirely in the UK, the vast majority of our customers are UK-based, as are the majority of our immediate supply chain. KeTech’s employees are predominantly UK nationals; KeTech does not currently employ any EU nationals.
Our initial risk assessment identified a number of key areas of focus for a potential Brexit impact. In recent months we have focused on those areas that could have the most direct impact on our ability to service customers. In summary, our assessment is that the likely impact on KeTech will be relatively low. Nevertheless, the following provides detail on these areas.
The most likely area of impact surrounds future customs arrangements. Whilst the vast majority of KeTech’s customers and suppliers are UK-based, we do have some based both in the EU and non-EU countries. KeTech is already experienced at both exporting to and importing from countries outside the EU. We are therefore familiar with customs declaration arrangements and have existing relationships with a number of agents who support this activity. We are in regular dialogue with these agents regarding the impact of future arrangements, and once these become clearer, we will act accordingly. KeTech is also exploring the merits of obtaining Authorised Economic Operator status; our initial assessment is that given the relatively small amount of exporting/importing that KeTech does, it is unlikely that we will pursue this as an immediate option.
We are in regular dialogue with our non-UK suppliers, and continue to assess their arrangements for future supply. We are not currently aware of any significant issues that are likely to impact supply, and will continue to monitor this closely as arrangements become clearer. We are also aware that a number of our UK suppliers source some of their components/materials from outside the UK. We have been in contact with key suppliers and are unaware, at this stage, of any that envisage significant supply issues, beyond the potential short-term disruption at borders and for customs clearance in the event of a ‘no-deal’ outcome. To mitigate this, we are assessing our stock levels to ensure we can continue to supply customers with whom we have support arrangements.
KeTech also acknowledges that under certain Brexit scenarios, it may have an impact on standards and regulations for certain industries. KeTech does not anticipate that this will have a material impact for the products and systems that we supply. Nevertheless, we continue to assess updates from industries bodies and will take prompt action where appropriate.
The subject of Brexit is firmly on KeTech’s agenda, and is a standing item at regular Board and Management meetings. We will continue to closely monitor developments, and will update and extend our plans and mitigation in light of future clarification on post-Brexit arrangements.