Close to third of goods arriving into Dublin held back over document issues

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Trucks, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Cate McCurry, PA

Around 30 per cent of goods moving from Britain to Dublin are being held back over issues around documentation, with some requiring further checks, officials have said.

Tom Talbot, head of the Revenue’s customs operations for Dublin Port, said trade volumes continue to be low in comparison with trade levels in previous years.

Mr Talbot said about 70 per cent of freight movements in the last seven days have received immediate clearance from customs.

He said the rest are being labelled as orange or red, which require further checks on documentation from hauliers.

Thousands of trucks have passed through Dublin Port in the last two weeks under new trade rules following the end of the Brexit transition period.

Stark difference

Mr Talbot said the difference in experience at ports for those who prepared for Brexit, compared with those who did not, is “quite stark”.

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He said that trucks were unable to exit Dublin Port until they received clearance from either the Revenue, Department of Agriculture or the HSE.

He added that they have not reached capacity, but that volumes have been rising steadily to around 600 movements a day.

If the documentation is not there, if it is wrong, inaccurate or incomplete, it won’t get through

“We have no more than 30 or 40 HGVs parked up over any period of time,” he added.

“Once everything is in place, including the correct documentation, it is quite quick to clear those marked orange or red.

“In terms of more in-depth examinations, it can be a slightly longer period, but once supporting documentation is in and everything is checked, it is quite a short period.

“If the information provided on customs declarations is incomplete or the required documentation for goods is not available, then truck drivers and their goods will be held up at Irish ports.

“If the documentation is not there, if it is wrong, inaccurate or incomplete, it won’t get through.

“We will work with hauliers in question to obtain all outstanding information. However, the goods can only be cleared from the port when the documentation is cleared.”

Blaming

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Mr Talbot added that many businesses have underestimated the preparation needed to get clearance to pass through Irish ports and into the EU.

He said some companies were “blaming everyone else”, and were accusing Government departments of “poor performance”.

“When we investigated the case we found multiple errors on behalf of businesses,” he added.

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“No preparation had been done and we will work with that, but these companies are very much behind.”

He denied suggestions that some Irish exporters were using ports in Northern Ireland to gain “unfettered access” to Great Britain.

He added that the movements of goods from Britain to Northern Ireland were subject to the same rules and regulations.

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