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OPW Brexit Unit begins consultation for Dublin Port inspection bays

A decision on the consultation with An Bord Pleanála is due by 28 February next year.

Image: Christina Finn/TheJournal.ie

THE OFFICE OF Public Works has lodged a consultation application on building inspection bays, and facilities for cargo and live animals at Dublin Port. 

The application for a ‘state development consultation’ was lodged by the OPW’s Brexit Unit last Thursday 17 October, the day a Brexit deal was confirmed between the EU and the UK. 

The consultation is to discuss a “shared services facility” which would include: new warehouse facilities and other structures for cargo unloading areas; inspection bays; live animal storage facilities, and other spaces and works.

The application entry on the An Bord Pleanála website says that the case is due to be decided by 28 February 2020. As things stand currently, if a Brexit extension is granted by the EU, the next Brexit deadline would be 31 January 2020. 

Among the checks that would be needed are inspections on live animals to ensure they meet the EU’s SPS check requirements. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already acknowledged the need to preserve the all-island of Ireland sanitary and phytosanitary checks system post-Brexit. 

Dublin Port has spent over €30 million to date on inspection posts, additional staff and training in preparation for a hard Brexit (where the UK would leave the Customs Union and Single Market). 

The Irish government’s no-deal Brexit plans include an extra 270 truck parking spaces, 33 inspections bays and a live animal controls area at the port.

A public office with eight counters and accomodation for staff, office accomodation for an extra 144 staff in the Dublin Port area and anew traffic management system is also part of no-deal plans for Dublin Port. 

In response to questions put to him by Fianna Fáil TD Aindrias Moynihan, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said on 24 September that the decision to put facilities at a port or airport “to carry out import controls on certain regulated products and live animals is based on trade flow analysis”.

 Once such a request is received, this begins a process to identify where such a facility could be built. The requirements for a border inspection post would be outlined, which would include the inspection facilities and the accommodation requirements for the staff. 

“This facility would need to comply with the relevant EU regulations, and be approved for use by the Commission,” Creed said.

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