It’s been two years of uncertainty, two years of the unknown and right now, the next steps are still unclear.
Bob Tee, our Timber Products Manager has put a contingency plan in place so that it’ll be business as usual when Brexit strikes.
That’s because 90% of timber used in UK construction comes from Europe - an incredibly high volume to feel the effects of Brexit.
No one knows exactly what's going to happen, so I've been working on a contingency plan to make sure we're as ready as we can be for a deal or no-deal scenario, whenever that may be.
Right now, we’re part of the Customs Union, so timber that enters the UK from the EU clears ports immediately.
If we leave the Customs Union, which is possible with a no-deal Brexit, then any timber from the EU is likely to require custom checks.
Of course, we don’t know yet if this will cause any delays. That’s why we’ve been planning and making sure we’ve got sufficient stock to meet our customer requirements.
Where does your timber come from?
I don’t think many of our customers realise where we get our timber from.
We have fantastic relationships with sawmills, mainly in the Baltics and Scandinavia. We buy our timber direct through them, so we’ve had lots of conversations about Brexit.
Both parties will do whatever it takes to get a continuous supply of timber to our customers.
No not at all. It’s a global forest certification system that helps customers have confidence that their timber has been produced from well-managed forests.
Maintaining a healthy supply of timber in a post-Brexit world is key. We’ve been upping our timber stocks to make sure we’re as ready as we can be after the 29 March or 22 May.
What lies beyond these dates is anyone’s guess, as no one knows for certain how things will pan out. But from the work we’ve put in place already, I’m confident that we’ll continue to offer timber for our customers when they need it.
If you look at the bigger picture, we as a country consume a whopping 17 million m3 of timber a year. There’s just not enough space in the UK to meet our timber demands for commercial timber so we have to get it from overseas.
The demand for timber and the demand for more houses is not going to go away. I like to refer to it all as a tap that’s not going to turn off.