UKLA President’s Report

Despite the festivities, the start of a new year or decade is often just a continuation of the previous year, and years start more with a whimper than a bang. But the dawn of 2020 and a new decade really does feel different, both in our industry and in the wider world.

It has been an eventful start to the new decade with the developments in the Middle East, as well as the events in the USA with the impeachment and trial of President Trump, although, barring a major upset, its impact is more likely to be felt in the coming Presidential election campaign later this year rather than through the actual Senate verdict.

In the UK, for the first time in a decade, a government has a strong working majority, and it will likely be a year dominated by trade negotiations after the UK’s formal withdrawal from the EU after 47 years at the end of January. Companies will have to adjust to the new realities, as well as prepare themselves for further trading uncertainties as the UK navigates its way through negotiations with competing trading blocs and countries, such as the EU and the USA, which is very unlikely to be resolved quickly.

UEIL President’s Report

I hope you all enjoyed a relaxing Christmas and New Year break, and on behalf of the entire UEIL team I would like to wish you all the best for a successful 2020!

2019 was a very active and successful year for UEIL. Over the past year we significantly raised our profile in the industry and are better recognised by actors across our sector. UEIL is perceived as a credible voice and has become more influential thanks to a strong network of valuable partners and members, an increased presence on social media, a new set of industry statistics, and our enhanced Annual Congress, which is increasingly perceived as a reference event in our sector.

All of this would not have been possible without the work and commitment of all our members, who put their knowledge at the service of the industry in committees, taskforces, and the various initiatives undertaken by our association.

So what does 2020 hold for UEIL?

This year we will invest time and resources into marketing and communication activities. Although

In our own industry, in addition to the impact of the Middle East developments, 2020 heralds the introduction of the IMO 2020 regulations on sulphur content in marine fuel oils globally, which will have substantial effects on shipping and refining. Furthermore, the new EU quotas imposed on imports of Group II above 200,000 tonnes every 6 months have come into effect too, despite the growing demand for these products, and the effects of this are uncertain too.

The “mega trends” will of course continue their unrelenting progress, but the focus on environmental concerns already seems to have been raised several notches this year, with the enormous and wide-spread fires in Australia, the intervention by Sir David Attenborough, and the confirmation that 2019 was the second warmest year on record, and the 2010s easily the hottest decade.

So, welcome to a new decade... It’s certainly started! David Hopkinson, UKLA President

UEIL’s profile has been raised significantly over the past year, the European landscape is challenging, complex and fragmented, the political debate is emotionally charged, and facts are not always used for policy development. It is therefore

essential to communicate clearly and factually about our industry.

With a clearer strategy our association will be able to develop messages and tools to communicate properly and to enable us to be more proactive in expanding networks, managing the increasing regulatory uncertainty and complexity and defending our sector’s reputation. An important element of this journey will be our Annual Congress which will take place on 28-30 October in Athens, Greece, the theme of which will be “Driving sustainable growth: moving forward together”.

I look forward to working with you in 2020 and am sure that together we will make it a great year for UEIL and our industry!

Valentina Serra-Holm, UEIL President 4 LUBE MAGAZINE NO.155 FEBRUARY 2020

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