The consequences of Brexit for the air cargo industry will depend a lot on the inclusion of a customs union in the final deal between the UK and the EU, says Air Cargo Netherlands.
“If the deal includes a customs union, the impact on the air cargo industry will be minimal,” says ACN. On the other hand, the so-called ‘cliff-edge’ scenario - or ‘no deal’ – would have severe
As for the latter ACN names air traffic rights constraints; no reciprocity in the recognition of safety certification; extended border controls for passengers; the expiration of euro licenses for transportation from and to the UK as well as for cabotage and transit possibilities through UK territory to Ireland.
Betting on UK’s white paper
Should the deal between the UK and the EU be in line with the recent British white paper on the future relationship, the consequences for the air cargo industry may be limited. “There will not be a lot of changes, as there will be a customs union while –most presumably - the UK can keep its membership of the Transit Agreement, which has a wider range than the EU.
A no deal without a customs union would not only affect the direct trade between the Netherlands (or between the UK and any other EU member state for that matter). Chances are real that the international and intercontinental trade flows via the Dutch airports Amsterdam and Maastricht to and from the UK would take a different course.
One of the flows identified by ACN is transit cargo between AMS/MAA and the UK, i.e. shipments arriving at those airports with the UK as final destination and the AWB and shipments form the UK trucked to AMS/MAA to be on-forwarded by air.
Chances and challenges for Dutch airports
ACN also identifies some bright lights for Dutch export flows that today are flown to markets outside of the EU via British airports. “Should these flows require administrative or physical checks when passing the new border, this may result in a positive effect for AMS and MAA,” says ACN.
Items subject to examination would possibly be additionally affected when live animals, veterinary products, foods and phytosanitary products would require double examination, because the UK will lay down other requirements and customs reverse charges would no longer be applicable. “These flows would therefore most likely disappear,” ACN thinks.
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels