WARD: Brexit Position Statement

As a specialist in metal recycling and waste management we trade with a number of companies around the world including within the European Union (EU).

The UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020, following on a public vote held in June 2016. From 1st January 2021 there will be new rules for residents and businesses living in and operating in the UK. For more details visit: https://www.gov.uk/transition.

Since the decision to separate from the EU, Ward has been working closely with and taking advice from our multiple trade bodies. These include the British Metal Recycling Association (BMRA), the Wood Recyclers Association (WRA),The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), European Recycling Industries Confederation (EURIC), Textile Recycling Association and BEIS, the government department responsible for business, energy, and industrial strategy.

We have been making plans around business operations, employment, logistics and existing export arrangements where we trade materials within the UK and throughout the world. 

Employment and immigration

As a business we are responsible for ensuring the eligibility status of our workers. Everyone working directly for Ward is registered as a UK citizen with the right to work within the UK. 

We will continue with these standard HR procedures with all new applicants and provide the necessary paperwork to prove their right to work in the UK. 

Workers already living and working in the UK, originally from the EU, are able to apply for the EU Settlement scheme up to June 2021.

If applicants for eligible roles wish to move to the UK from are from overseas, a points based immigration system is now in place. For more details visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-immigration-system-what-you-need-to-know.

Transportation, vehicles and assets

Relating to drivers and transportation, we continue to work with a number of haulage and logistics partners to ensure all the necessary paperwork and permits are in place. 

All drivers are eligible with an international driving licence and we have the necessary operator licenses and relevant permits for our business activities.  

Each driver and vehicle operated directly by or on behalf of Ward has the required registration documents including:

  • Vehicle security checklist
  • Taco-graph records
  • Insurance documents
  • Trailer registration certificates

It is expected that there will be delays at ports during January 2021, we are implementing contingency plans with our partners to avoid any inconvenience in the movement of materials. 

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transporting-goods-between-great-britain-and-the-eu-from-1-january-2021-guidance-for-hauliers

For new vehicles, plant, machinery and parts sourced from EU suppliers, where there are long production or lead times we have placed orders in 2019 and 2020 directly with the manufacturers. These have been negotiated with our suppliers in Europe at a fixed price within the existing tariff structure, so that we are able to store these in the UK and manage assets in advance to reduce any downtime associated with new parts and equipment being delayed or unobtainable.

EU Directives 

All existing EU directives have been transferred into UK law. Any new directive issued from January 2021 onwards will not have to be followed by law, however may be done so on a voluntary basis to assist with continuing open trade and business opportunities. 

Trading with Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

Trading between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland remains unchanged, which has no impact on Ward’s business activities. 

Free trade with no tariffs is still permitted from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, as a UK registered company.  

Trading from Great Britain to Northern Ireland may have some restrictions, depending on the risk of items being traded with the Republic of Ireland. This is not considered to affect any of the activities of Ward. 


With regards to metals, it has been confirmed that 0% tariffs will be applied to scrap metals and ingot across all categories, with the exception of titanium. 

Tariffs for importing titanium to the UK from the EU will be 5%.

Tariffs for importing titanium to the EU from the UK will be 4%.

For full details on tariff arrangements from 1st January 2021 visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-tariffs-from-1-january-2021.

Post Brexit Business opportunities

Ward is an independently owned, fourth generation family business. For over 80 years it has traded scrap metal and collected, processed and recycled metal and waste with the aim of reducing materials to landfill. We have plans for future growth and are open to business opportunities from clients, customers, suppliers and partners around the world to help build a sustainable future. 

For the latest information regarding Brexit and the effects on business operations, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/transition. If you have direct queries about how Brexit could impact your relationship with Ward, please contact 0345 337 0000 or email [email protected].

Thank you for your patience and support throughout this transition period.