I propose to take Questions Nos. 42 and 48 together.
Upon leaving the EU, the United Kingdom will accede to the common transit convention, CTC. Under the convention, goods moving from Ireland to another member state via the UK, or vice versa, will move under the customs internal transit procedure. Once European Union goods are moving under the customs transit procedure from one member state to another through a third country, which essentially would be the UK, no duties or taxes will be applicable.
Since December 2018, considerable progress has been made in clarifying the application of EU rules and an agreed understanding has been reached on the continued use of the landbridge under the internal transit procedure to ensure that Irish and EU operators can continue to use the landbridge in an effective and efficient way. Work continues at a technical level to provide absolute clarity on the application of certain EU rules and procedures with regard to sanitary and phytosanitary, SPS, controls on animals and products of animal origin.
In addition, the necessary infrastructure has been put in place in Dublin and Rosslare ports to enable operators to open and close the transit procedure. The UK will also need to facilitate an office of transit in its ports. To this end, our officials in London and Cardiff met again recently with the port in Dover and will visit Holyhead and Folkestone shortly. However, in a no-deal scenario, it is anticipated that the landbridge, at least in the initial period, would be subject to significant delays and congestion. The Dover to Calais crossing has been identified as a particular bottleneck.
It is also the case that the use of the landbridge after Brexit will not replicate the status quo for operators and will depend on traders being compliant with the new requirements under the CTC and also being in line with EU requirements. It is vital that businesses act now to ensure that they understand the necessary paperwork in respect of issues such as customs formalities and putting financial guarantees in place and that, where relevant, they are aware of SPS procedures. Targeted information campaigns are under way to ensure that operators are aware of the steps they must take and the supports available to them.
In fairness to the UK, it has tried to facilitate this by signing up to the convention. In simple terms, the way this will work is that if a container leaving Dublin is sealed in Dublin, the seal will not need to be opened as it crosses the landbridge and the container can re-enter the Single Market. This will mean using the landbridge in the most seamless way we can make it. There are ways we can do that for food products too but a great deal of extra paperwork will be needed to ensure it runs smoothly.