Dublin Port prepares for Brexit customs checks

Dublin Port prepares for Brexit customs checks

Dublin Port said it can wait no longer on political solutions to Brexit and is applying for planning permission for new customs sheds and freight inspection points on its 250-hectare site.

The port currently handles 1.3 million Ro-Ro  and container units a year, with 400-500 trucks arriving daily from the UK. About 200,000 of these units originate outside the EU and therefore require customs and other checking procedures in three dockside terminals, but CEO Eamonn O’Reilly expects this number to jump to at least a million after Brexit so four more terminals  are needed.

“Our view always was that the British government has clearly said they are leaving the customs union and the single European market,” he said. “We have taken what the UK government has said at face value — period. Any changes that happen that improve that are most welcome but we’re not depending on it happening. We’re not working on the basis of there being any magical political solution.”

The port company has held a series of Brexit workshops involving customs, An Garda Siochana, the Department of Agriculture, other government agencies, shipping lines and hauliers.

“We have to put in place border controls that are required by various State agencies.We’re talking booths the trucks will drive by, canopies, inspection areas, sheds where goods can be taken out and inspected. It’s the sort of stuff that would have been here in the early 90s before the single market came in.”