Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Questions (48)

James Browne


48. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Finance the steps he has taken and plans to take to date in preparation for post-Brexit customs checks at ports, specifically Rosslare Europort to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17639/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am informed by Revenue that significant work has been undertaken in preparation for post-Brexit Customs checks at Rosslare Europort. The Office of Public Works are responsible for the delivery of the necessary infrastructure and in preparation for the no-deal scenario, temporary facilities were installed in Rosslare Harbour including public office facilities, basic driver comfort facilities and exam areas for SPS and Customs controls. OPW are currently working to ensure that permanent facilities will be in place by 1 January 2021.

As regards staffing and resources, I am advised that Revenue appointed over 400 additional staff nationally to customs and related roles for Brexit in the period September 2018 to 12 April 2019. 30 of these additional 400 staff were assigned to Rosslare Europort. These additional staff brought the total Revenue staff in Rosslare Europort to approximately 50.  In order to facilitate trade, Revenue will operate extended opening hours to suit current trade flows.

Revenue has engaged directly with trade and business to provide advice and support in relation to the changes that will occur as a result of Brexit. On 30 January, Revenue, together with Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, hosted a Customs Brexit Information seminar in Wexford town. This was part of an ongoing and extensive trader engagement program highlighting the Brexit-related Revenue supports and providing an opportunity for traders to speak directly with experts across a range of specific Customs themes as well as from other Government Departments and agencies.

On 5 April 2019, Revenue commenced direct engagement with truck drivers at both Dublin Port and Rosslare Europort. Customs Officers provided advice to drivers waiting to embark ferries and on-board a number of sailings. Information leaflets, providing key customs advice for truck drivers were  distributed to ensure that drivers understand and are aware of the impact Brexit will have on their journeys. 

On 8 April 2019, Revenue gave a presentation in Rosslare Europort to the haulage sector outlining the Customs procedures and obligations in relation to the flow of goods through Rosslare Europort.

Question No. 49 answered orally.