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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 5°C The UK left the EU at 11pm on New Year’s Eve, becoming a third country for trade purposes and customs declarations.

'Extremely small' number of consignments refused at Dublin Port for having incorrect documents

Four vans looking to travel to the UK had issues yesterday at Dublin Port.

AN “EXTREMELY SMALL” number of consignments looking to travel to the UK have been refused since new Brexit regulations kicked in on 1 January. 

Tom Talbot, head of customs operations for Dublin Port, said today that just four vans looking to travel to the UK with Irish Ferries were turned away yesterday. 

The vans had turned up at the port without the correct documentation, he said. They were told to return when they had the correct documents, and officials were in contact with them, walking them through the new process, said Talbot. 

Giving an update to reporters today, Talbot said it will take time for drivers and hauliers to get used to the new post-transition period procedures.

On 1 January, ferry operator Stena said that six freight loads bound for Ireland had to be turned away at Holyhead as they did not have the correct references.

Revenue has urged all freight operators and drivers looking to travel to the UK or from the UK to ensure they had their PBNs ready ahead of check-in for the sailing.

A Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN) is needed before a lorry can get onto a ferry to cross the Irish Sea, as the UK is now considered a third country for trade purposes.

Talbot said that if all the correct documents and declarations are in place, then drivers will get a green light that will allow them to pass through the port.

Up to 92% of drivers are getting green lights to travel, he said. 

Dublin Port is still seeing very low level of trade due to the time of year, but there is a “slow steady build up” to and from Great Britain. 

“We are seeing a little bit of more orange checks at the moment, but that’s because it is bedding in, but you get your green and that’s all you have to do,” said Talbot.

With over a billion euros spent on Brexit-related infrastructure, the port is in a good position to keep delays at a minimum, reporters were told.

However, he said he wanted to be clear that delays can be expected, stating that the UK is now a third country having left the EU.

Green-approved lorries will take just minutes to leave the ferry and the port, he said, with those given orange or red lights taking more time due to customs checks.

“That investment we put in is there for a reason and will minimise delays. There will be delays, we are now dealing with a third country but we want to minimise those delays,” he said.

“Even for businesses that are familiar for a number of years with dealing with third-country trade, the fact that this trade never arises on roll-on and roll-off traffic is a new feature,” he said.

He urged drivers to check their documentation and follow the clear and simple steps put in place by the authorities which will allow for a clear transition.

“To date there has been really good engagement with both trade and business and that will continue to ensure that smooth flow, and I am confident that will continue in the days and weeks ahead,” he added.

With reporting by Press Association.

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