The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) is advising the heating and plumbing industry to prepare for changes ahead of Brexit.
Across the country, there are concerns around how prices of equipment and raw materials that are sourced from outside the UK will be affected. UK trade deals will no longer be regulated by EU guidelines which could lead to increased costs of imported materials.
Tariffs are a large concern, as nobody knows what will happen with the purchase and selling of goods and materials abroad. For plumbing, this applies to the purchase of tools, the materials and consumables used to install and maintain systems in properties as well as petrol prices being anticipated to drive upwards.
John Thompson, Chief Executive Officer at APHC, said: “The plumbing and heating industry was already affected by the lockdown and, although businesses have been able to continue to work, there has been quite a downturn in construction contract related work. However, one of the major problems that many of our members have been experiencing and continue to do so is the availability of plumbing and heating equipment in the supply chain – this is a commonly reported problem from our members at present.
“With talks between EU and UK negotiators now rescheduled to continue for an undefined amount of time, the results are yet to be fully seen. Many businesses in the sector are facing continuing pressure on their finances from the current suspension of projects, so the Brexit process needs to be concluded with some form of a trade deal.
“The true impact of Brexit on UK businesses is still uncertain and whilst we can speculate as to what may happen, until the next stage is completed we won’t have any more information to build an idea of what post-Brexit looks like for plumbing and heating businesses.”
By being aware of potential tariff fluctuations and the impact of material supplies, businesses can at least start reviewing and planning for how to prepare for what is to come, the association says.
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