Sunday, 8 September 2019

UK Neighbours Prepare for European Divorce with Extra Customs Facilities

Second Largest Irish Port Foresees Longer Processing Times for Freight 

IRELAND – In preparation for the seemingly ever more likely fact that the UK will depart the European Union in October without any deal, something which will have major repercussions for the whole of the island of Ireland, the Port of Cork has announced that it has doubled the size of its customs facilities in preparation. 

The Port management says that after close examination of historical data and several simulation studies, it has concluded that if the UK leaves the EU single market and customs union without an agreement it is likely that more intensive checks and declarations will be required. Such an outcome will probably lead to substantially increased processing times at the border. 

The Port of Cork is the second largest port in the Republic of Ireland in terms of turnover, and handles all vessel types including lift-on lift-off (LoLo), bulk liquid, bulk solid, break bulk, RoRo, and cruise. In 2018, the Port of Cork handled traffic of 10.66 million tonnes, including total container traffic of 228,762 TEU. Brendan Keating, Chief Executive of the Port of Cork, commented: 
“The Port of Cork, including the new Cork Container Terminal, has made extensive preparations to ensure that importers and exporters operations from the Port run smoothly when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. Larger customs facilities will ensure that we can continue to ensure prompt vessel turnarounds and efficient supply chains without extended interruption from any additional administrative formalities.” 

In addition to the Port of Cork’s investment in additional customs facilities, it has also recently invested €80 million on the aforementioned new container terminal that has been designed to help secure Cork as an international gateway for trade well into the future. The Cork Container Terminal will become operational in 2020 and Capt. Paul O'Regan, Chief Operations Officer of the Port of Cork, added: 
“The Port of Cork has regularly reviewed the impact of various forms of Brexit on our activities, and we are working locally and nationally with Customs and with the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine to ensure that we are Brexit ready.” 

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