Irish Government Publishes Brexit Plans for Key Seaports
Ireland's government is planning to invest in facilities at Dublin Port and Rosslare Europort as part of a Brexit contingency plan. The measures are intended to prevent cargo congestion in the event that the EU and Britain do not finalize a deal for a Brexit transition period, notably including free-trade customs arrangements. The UK is already implementing plans for an abrupt, "no-deal" Brexit, which will take effect on March 29, 2019 unless the UK Parliament agrees to a pre-negotiated draft transition plan.
At Dublin Port, Ireland's Office of Public Works is planning new arrangements to handle customs checks, including:
- 33 inspection bays for trucks coming off ships;
- parking for 270 trucks to ensure that trucks awaiting inspection do not halt other port traffic;
- A dedicated border control post for live animals;
- Office accommodation for 144 staff within
the port area; and
- A new traffic management system to manage the flow of vehicles to/from ferries.
At Rosslare Europort, OPW is making provisions for:
- 13 inspection bays for trucks coming off ships;
- Parking for 35 trucks; and
- A dedicated border catrol post for live animals.
Ireland is also involved in consultations with the European Commission and with other EU27 member nations to prepare for the challenges of moving cargo through the UK after it becomes a non-EU country. At present, the "UK landbridge" provides an important avenue for transporting goods from the continental EU to Ireland via the UK, handling three million tonnes of drayage cargo each year. However, Brexit throws the regulatory arrangements for this longstanding trade route into question.
"In a no deal scenario it is anticipated that the landbridge, at least in the initial period, may be subject to severe delays. Dover-Calais has been identified as a particular bottle neck. This will have a knock on impact on goods traveling to/from Ireland and the rest of the single market," the government wrote in its 140-page transition plan.