6000 lorries from north cross the border every day

Irish customs authorities are planning to inspect 6-8% of the more than 6000 HGVs which cross from Northern Ireland into the Republic per day.

Giving evidence to the Oireachtas Finance Committee, Seamus Leheny of the NI Freight Transport Association, described the plans as “quite concerning to those involved in moving goods cross-border.

“On average we’re looking at a minimum 6,000 HGV movements cross-border on a daily basis so if we’re looking at 8% of those vehicles having to be checked, there’s potentially 500 to 600 vehicles actually having to stop and have goods looked at,” he said.

Revenue Commissioner Liam Irwin said the inspections would be mainly document checks but there would be a ‘small number’ of physical inspections.

Leheny said the costs of inspections would have to be passed on to consumers. “There would be consequences with delays and journey time reliability.If you have 500 to 600 lorries having to stop every day, those delays could be anything from five minutes, half an hour. It depends really on paperwork checks or maybe physical inspection of goods and the running costs for a 44-tonne lorry which typically travels cross-border is £1 a minute and those costs have to be covered by someone.”