Who is the British Aerosol Manufactures’ Association?
The British Aerosol Manufacturers' Association (BAMA) is a trade association which represents the UK aerosol industry. The UK is the largest manufacturer of aerosols in Europe, producing more than 1.5 billion cans in 2016, which is nearly 28% of European production. This huge production volume puts the UK in third place in global aerosol manufacturing, behind only the USA and China, and manufacturing 1 in 10 of all aerosols produced worldwide. BAMA estimates that more than 70% of the aerosols produced here in the UK go to export.
BAMA’s membership covers every aspect of the aerosol sector ranging from component and ingredient suppliers to fillers, can makers and marketers. Members themselves range from SMEs to multinational corporations.
In addition to providing leadership the association offers a range of business support and technical advice services as well as lobbying industry views to legislators and regulators. BAMA continues to promote the aerosol format and encourage innovation and works with a wide range of stakeholders to set the highest standards in safety, good manufacturing and environmental practice.
As part of the European Aerosol Federation (FEA), BAMA is able to link associations throughout Europe but also has a global reach with close relationships with similar associations across the world.
What does BAMA offer the manufacturing industry?
Providing an important information service on all matters that affect the UK aerosol industry, BAMA runs regular seminars on topics of interest to the industry as well as training courses, helping members to keep abreast of legislative developments and understand in detail how such change will impact upon the them and the wider industry.
BAMA serves as the industry’s spokesperson, co-ordinating and communicating the industry’s requirements and broader opinions not only to the UK Government but to the European Commission (EC) and European Parliament (EP). As we move steadily towards the realisation of a circular economy this work is only going to become more important – indeed projects such as BAMA’s Future of Aerosols, which focuses on issues such as the circular economy specifically, have been designed to help members create, develop and improve their sustainability programmes.
Concentrating resources via its committees on key issues and formulating industry policy, BAMA also contributes to the development of British, European and international standards and publishing codes of practice and guides on safety.
Meanwhile the association is strengthening relationships with sister organisations overseas, a reciprocal agreement being signed with the Aerosol Association for Australia in 2017 for instance. Such links help associations share information which can be passed on to industry in turn, and co-operate on a range of initiatives including sustainability. These relationships are also set to prove invaluable in helping industry manage the challenges of a more demanding and complex regulatory landscape.
Why has BAMA decided to partner with EEF?
There is a real synergy between the two organisations and much to be gained by joining forces.
Like EEF, BAMA exists to support individual businesses and help the wider industry to achieve sustainable growth through innovation, best practice and the production of the highest quality goods.
UK manufacturing plays a critical role in terms of its contribution to the economy and the communities that depend upon it. Today, as we face the uncertainties of Brexit, many of our largest industries continue to voice their concerns about its impact. The views of car manufacturers, the financial services and the airline sector to name a few are all being aired – but relatively speaking the aerosol industry is small. Of course this does not mean we should not have our voices heard too, particularly when it comes to issues like these which will affect all stakeholders – whether in the UK, Europe or on the other side of the world.
But there is strength in numbers.
It is imperative that organisations like EEF and BAMA work together with partners and stakeholders across industry to achieve a positive conclusion for all involved.
What does BAMA think the future holds for the industry?
BAMA has lived through a series of significant political, environmental and technological developments since its inception in 1961. Like all things, history has influenced and educated all those in the aerosol supply chain, from fillers and chemical companies to component suppliers and logistics companies.
Looming over the future of the aerosol industry, indeed every industry, is Brexit.
The long awaited transition deal marks a significant milestone in negotiations but as the Prime Minister warned “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”
The reality is that the agreement, which provides legal continuity after Brexit takes place, is still only a plan for a withdrawal rather than something which provides surety it will happen. For that to come about, Britain and the EU must still agree an entire withdrawal treaty. It does however mean that there is now a period of time during which specific trade areas of mutual benefit to both sides can be deliberated.
For now however, the two extremes of exit from the EU – hard and soft Brexit – remain on the table.
There will be many issues to manage whichever route is taken and while businesses do now arguably have more certainty about the conditions they will face after Brexit, a great deal of uncertainty remains. For instance, a hard Brexit will not provide the entirely clean break or clarity that it may seem to offer.
The European Single Market gave the UK the free movement of goods, finance and people – without any tariffs. Leaving it would inevitably have repercussions on our trading with the EU and vice versa. Amongst the potential impacts for the aerosol industry, both in the UK and those manufacturers based in the EU, could be the slower transit of goods into and out of the UK due to additional customs checks required as a non-EU state. There would also be an upcharge on both filled cans and components – something which could have a collateral financial impact on businesses within the sector.
For example, exporters trading under WTO terms face 6.5% tariffs on plastic components, air fresheners, shaving foam and gel, deodorants and anti-perspirants, and depilatories. Tariffs for industrial aerosols range from 4.6%-6.5%, whilst aluminium cans, tinplate cans and valves are subject to 6%, 3.7% and 2.2% tariffs respectively. There is a 0% tariff on hairspray.
It must be noted that this will not just potentially impact UK manufacturers but also those companies exporting components and filled products from mainland Europe into the UK. However, the UK aerosol industry is a global exporter and such tariffs already exist in a number of markets throughout the world but business continues to thrive and grow.
What key challenges and opportunities do you think are facing the industry?
There have been, and continues to be a span of different issues affecting companies that have an association with aerosols. Some of these issues, for example, the decision by the industry to voluntarily end the use of chloroflurocarbons (CFCs) in aerosols 40 years ago, have been a driver for change that have influenced the future of aerosol industry. However, the industry has always been proactive and innovative, which has on its own created a sizeable set of opportunities.
It is important that companies operating within the aerosol supply chain are given practical and up-to-date knowledge on important issues and standards on an on-going basis but it is also imperative that guidance on the future is provided.
BAMA has conducted research with Forum for the Future to produce a toolkit to help businesses identify strategic responses and become more resilient in the future. The kit contains a series of practical learning tools including guidance on how to deliver workshops, exercises and presentations.
Indoor air quality developments, the advancement of medical care and the role of aluminium and steel in the circular economy are just some of the many issues affecting the industry. With so many different considerations to plan for, the toolkit is designed to encourage businesses to think about their own unique future and what factors will affect them specifically. It also helps companies examine risks and opportunities of the future and how to be more sustainable.
Having over 50 years’ experience working within the aerosol industry, BAMA is able to put its own history and knowledge to good use when educating and offering guidance and there are many lessons to be learned by looking back. But with the frequency at which ground breaking technological developments occur, there needs to be a firm set of resources outside of past events that enable companies to be the best versions of themselves in the future.