Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (428)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

428. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which specific Irish produce might be impeded en route to foreign destinations in the context of the post-Brexit situation; if specific guarantees have been given in respect of any or all such access; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38702/20]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

From the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, the UK will be outside the EU single market and the customs union. This means that new rules and procedures will apply to goods moving to, from or through the UK, excluding Northern Ireland.

From 1 January, businesses that trade with the UK, excluding Northern Ireland, will be subject to a range of new customs formalities and paperwork, along with other regulatory requirements, including Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks, both in Ireland and in the UK. The Government has conducted substantial outreach to businesses and provided dedicated supports to assist them in preparing for these changes. Further information is available in the Government's Brexit Readiness Action Plan and on GOV.IE/Brexit.

New rules and procedures will also apply when moving goods across the UK landbridge between Ireland and the EU.

Post transition, operators will still be able to move goods across the UK Landbridge but the way they use the landbridge will change.The UK's accession to the Common Transit Convention (CTC) is welcome. It allows EU goods to move under transit through Great Britain without undergoing full import and export formalities on entry and exit. However, to avail of the benefits of the Convention, a number of new administrative steps must be completed in Ireland, Great Britain and at the port of re-entry. Details of all these new steps can be found at GOV.IE/Brexit. Furthermore, each consignment must also have a financial guarantee during the movement. Under Official Controls Regulation (EU) 2017/625, a range of goods, including animals and products of animal origin (POAO), are subject to controls on re-entering the Union and must be prior-notified to the Border Control Post (BCP) of re-entry to the EU ahead of arrival. Ireland has undertaken substantial engagements at political and official level across the EU to ensure EU goods moving under transit are not subject to additional and unnecessary checks and controls. In particular, we have worked with our French, Belgian and Dutch counterparts to understand each other’s BCP operations.For the vast majority of consignments transiting the landbridge documentary checks will be performed electronically in advance of the consignment re-entering the EU and once the correct paperwork is in place, transit goods should be “green-routed” to leave the Port. Identity and physical checks will only be necessary where the authorities suspect non-compliance. It is therefore vital that operators have the correct administration work in place.We have regularly noted the likelihood of delays in UK ports for some time now and operators should plan accordingly. Operators may wish to look at direct route options. The process for moving goods directly between Ireland and other EU Member States will not change nor be subject to the new procedures set out on our website.

The Government's 2020 Brexit Readiness Action Plan provide a broad range of information for traders and operators on the new systems in place and steps that should be mitigate the challenges arisng after the transition period ends.