Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2021)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

2021. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the assessment carried out to ensure that the 13 inspection bays for sanitary and phytosanitary, SPS, and food safety checks that are due to be in place in Dublin Port by 31 October 2019 are sufficient; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32045/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department has been actively participating in the Whole-of-Government approach to preparedness and contingency planning. In particular we have been engaging very closely with the Office of Public Works, the Department of Transport, the Department of Health and the Revenue Commissioners in relation to the infrastructure required to implement import controls on agri-food and fishery products coming from the UK through Dublin Port.

My Department has conducted a range of analysis and research in relation to Brexit, amongst which included an assessment of the number of inspection bays required in ports and airports. This assessment was based on the examination of international trade data. My Department and I have also engaged extensively with relevant stakeholders regarding the potential practical impact of import controls on the day-to-day functioning of trade flows. This assessment has provided the basis for the infrastructure required to ensure that our legal obligations are fulfilled as efficiently as possible while minimising the possible disruption to trading arrangements.

In the lead up to 29 March and 12 April, arrangements were finalised to ensure that sufficient infrastructure was in place to provide an emergency response to a no-deal Brexit. These arrangements included the provision of infrastructure for customs, SPS and health checks and controls at Dublin Port. This infrastructure forms the basis for the incremental development of long-term infrastructure, including the enhanced facilities that will be in place for 31 October. Plans are in place to construct additional inspection bays and turnout sheds, while some of the facilities that will be in place for 31 October will be retained.