As the United Kingdom approaches the end of its Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, matters of supply continuity and legal conformity will understandably be concerns for all our customers. The following is a statement of our position as of the above date.
SMC’s UK operation maintains a policy of holding stock sufficient for two months’ trading, backed by a further three months’ stock at our European Central Warehouse (ECW) in Antwerp. Although we replenish from our ECW, we are confident the UK’s two months’ stock will buffer any transitional customs delays. In addition, we started our Brexit planning once a ‘leave’ vote was confirmed and we increased UK stock of ECW-sourced lines by 60% to satisfy a much higher percentage of customer orders from the UK warehouse. Since our Brexit planning started the UK’s stock valuation of finished goods has increased by 100%. Not all UK-stocked items are backed by ECW stock and we receive many items direct from SMC’s Chinese or Japanese factories, in which case we maintain a 5-month UK stockholding.
To mitigate against more serious customs delays, every product that can be supplied from the European Central Warehouse can also be supplied direct from our Japanese or Chinese factories. This switching of supply channel has always been a routine activity in our daily supply chain management and is seamless as far as the customer is concerned.
In addition to stocked items, the UK also has a 24,000m2 production facility for special products and assemblies/configuration of standard items. Component parts are stocked to similar levels.
In summary, we believe we have an extremely robust supply chain and we do not expect any difficulties from 1st January 2021.
There are two items of conformity which SMC is currently addressing:
RoHS3: Our production will have switched fully to RoHS 3 compliance by the July 2021 deadline, although we will manage a running change so individual items may switch over sooner according to stock consumption.
UKCA: As permitted by current legislation, we will continue to ship CE-marked product for up to 12 months from 1st January 2021, by which point we will be UKCA compliant.
If you have any specific questions on either of the two matters of conformity or supply chain, please contact SMC at firstname.lastname@example.org