CEMA – the umbrella body representing the agricultural machinery manufacturing industry across Europe - has warned of the consequences of a 'hard Brexit' for the sector.

It has welcomed a new proposal for a regulation (COM(2018)397) to prepare for the UK's planned departure from the EU.

The proposed regulation specifically relates to EU type-approvals obtained from the UK type-approval authority.

A CEMA spokesperson explained: "It is of great importance for the agricultural machinery industry that manufacturers can continue to produce and supply agricultural vehicles after the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

Clarity for manufacturers

"Therefore the regulation is supported. To further improve it, CEMA suggests some amendments that are needed to smoothen the transition and provide legal certainty for agricultural machinery manufacturers."

He continued: "One of the most important aspects of this regulation is that it should enter into force as soon as possible.

"This is not only important for agricultural vehicles, such as tractors and towed machinery that were EU type-approved by the UK type-approval organisation, but also for all agricultural vehicle components (such as engines and mechanical couplings) that are frequently type-approved in the UK.

"If the entry into force of the regulation is too close to the [UK] withdrawal date, this could severely hit the production process and disrupt complex supply chains.

For example, the EU type-approval of a tractor with only UK type-approved engines will cease to be valid after the withdrawal date in the case of a hard Brexit.

"This legislation would first require the new type-approval of the engine and only afterwards enable the EU type-approval of the tractor to be renewed.

"This is a time-consuming process that requires a sufficient lead-time for the full procedure."

'Hard Brexit'

He added: "CEMA considers that a minimum lead-time of nine months would be feasible but, unfortunately, even a swift adoption would give much less in case of a hard Brexit.

"This is why a ratified agreement is of utmost importance for the agricultural machinery sector, particularly considering the implementation of Stage V engine emission requirements in the coming years."

More information on CEMA's Brexit position paper is available by clicking on this link.