Just like most other networking events at present, the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) took to ‘Zoom’ recently to hold its first-ever virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM), which saw the formulation of the IAAF council for 2021-22 and provided members with a valuable industry update.

The meeting, held on 11th February, saw IAAF appointing WAI UK managing director Richard Welland as its new president, taking over from Terry Knox.

Once the formalities had been communicated, Williamson then went on to share IAAF’s activity for the year ahead, kicking off with detailing how the federation is working closely with FIGIEFA on a number of issues, including BER renewal.

IAAF has submitted a 32-page consultation document to the EU commission in January on BER, which is due for renewal in 2023, and is now pulling together a cross-industry group to lobby the Government on the issue.

Williamson then discussed the Brexit Trade & Cooperation Agreement (TCA), explaining that there may be more complexities than initially thought, commenting: “We are now facing a period of extreme disruption and confusion as we begin to unravel what the deal means.”

As the new rules indicate that aftermarket businesses could be faced with new, unexpected tariffs, they are advised to visit the official Government website for more information.

Williamson continued: “With Brexit and COVID-19 causing a perfect storm, freight issues are expected to continue in the near future. Carriers in the EU were unprepared and costs have skyrocketed. IAAF has written to Grant Shapps in January highlighting the issue and requesting some urgent help for our sector.”

Williamson then provided a detailed Products and Services update, as well as a Marketing and Communications review, providing feedback on a successful virtual conference and Industry Briefing Bitesize sessions, as well as highlighting record news coverage throughout 2020.

Williamson concluded: “Although it’s unfortunate that circumstances dictate that we could not hold the AGM in person, it’s great that we could go ahead with the meeting and would like to thank everyone who attended. After an extremely unpredictable last year, we have already set the wheels in motion for yet another busy year ahead for the Federation and look forward to working closely with members throughout.”

Copies of the IAAF Annual Report will shortly be available for download from the secure area of the IAAF website in the General Members section, together with copies of the Agenda and the Minutes of the AGM.