Posted on: 9th Mar 2018
What effect will Brexit and uncertain exchange rates have on the RDF Market?
With Brexit still in the negotiation stage, there are many people across the waste sector who still see a perceived risk to the RDF industry. Brexit, along with uncertain exchange rates and other factors are on all our minds, which is why Mark Terrell, General Manager at Andusia, decided to tackle these issues at the annual industry event, Energy from Waste Conference in London.
The main issue with Brexit is that until the final terms are agreed we are unaware of the full implications it may have on the RDF export market. One thing we must remember though is that there will still be a demand for waste; European WTE plants will still need waste and we are still short of treatment capacity in the UK for many year to come.
Exchange rates dropped dramatically following the Brexit decision, with 1.08 being the lowest point to date. This fluctuating currency has again caused worry and uncertainty across the market, however we believe we have already had the biggest hit on currency and when you review the statistics the rate has stabilised over the past 6-months which is how we understand it will continue. As certainty comes through from the finalised Brexit deal, it is expected that the exchange rate will improve.
Brexit is very unlikey to effect tarrifs for RDF, due to waste exports carrying a negative value. This fact was reinforced by others at the conference.
Customs control could also be effected due to the UK choosing to leave the European Union. There is the potential that EU customs control could become more complicated or even stricter. In order to endure this change exporters will need to be experienced and accept that there may be a slight increase in the administrative workload.
Brexit Secretary, David Davis, confirmed in February that Environmental Standards in the UK almost certainly will not change and will continue to be exactly the same as in Europe.
In conclusion, we see many of the perceived barriers fall away when considered fully. In our opinion the export of RDF will continue long after Brexit and will form a signifanct part of the UK’s waste management structure.