Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (714)

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

714. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of staff employed by his Department to deal with customs checks at ports and airports in January 2020 and January 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2839/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department engages staff in portal locations to carry out a variety of duties, including inspections and the facilitation of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has been engaged in workforce planning to deliver on the expected increased requirements to meet these responsibilities since the UK Brexit vote in June 2016.

In January 2020, there were a total of 70 DAFM resources in place in the locations specified.

As of January 19th 2021, there are 250 resources in place and available to undertake DAFM inspections in the locations specified. This includes staff recruited for Brexit, together with some redeployed experienced DAFM staff, as well as a small cohort of contracted veterinary practitioners necessary to carry out the required SPS checks. As supply chains adjust to the new reality post-Brexit, scope remains for further fine tuning of these figures in line with requirements as they continue to evolve.