UK biofuels exports threatened by loss of EU assurance

UK farmers growing biofuels destined for the EU risk losing access to this key market, as the EU Commission plans to withdraw accreditation for the RED II assurance scheme.

RED II is used to ensure biofuels are produced to EU sustainability standards, and farm assurance schemes run by Red Tractor (RTA), Scottish Quality Crops (SQC) and the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) have, until now, been eligible to participate since Brexit.

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At the end of June, the commission announced the UK’s withdrawal from the EU would mean these schemes would no longer be recognised from December 2023 – unless accreditation within the EU can be achieved.

The AIC has warned if RED assurance is lost, an “additional burden” would be placed on the UK biofuels sector.

In a joint statement, AIC, Red Tractor and SQC said: “We have immediately called on the European Commission to continue to recognise UKAS and all that it represents through our schemes in the UK.

“The best-case scenario for all parties is that the Commission adopts this, and trading continues seamlessly. There are a number of alternatives that AIC, Red Tractor and SQC are also reviewing, all of which may be burdensome without tangible gain over the requirements already in place through voluntary schemes.

“In collaboration with other industry stakeholders, AIC, Red Tractor and SQC have written a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, asking for recognition of this issue and to work with industry to maintain access to the EU market as a valuable outlet for biofuels.”

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