Thursday, 21 January 2021

Questions (82, 83)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

82. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Finance the number of lorries that have entered each port from the UK since the 1 January 2021; the number that have been physically inspected for compliance with the new Brexit rules; the number destined for Northern Ireland; the number of trucks that must be inspected based on the EU-UK Brexit agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3419/21]

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Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

83. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Finance the number of lorries that have entered each port from the UK since the 1 January 2021; the number and percentage of lorries with their paperwork in order and compliant with the new rules on arrival; the number that had minor errors leading to a delay of less than three hours; the number subject to a longer delay broken down between trucks whose final destination is Northern Ireland and Ireland in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3420/21]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 82 and 83 together.

Since January 1, following the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, the UK has been outside the EU Single Market and Customs Union and this means that goods coming from or through the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland) are subject to a range of new customs formalities including import declarations and controls.

Since 1 Jan 2021 there were:

- 8,629 accompanied and unaccompanied vehicle (movements) into Dublin Port and 688 movements into Rosslare Europort from the UK

- 5,856 (68%) of movements into Dublin Port and 509 (74%) of movements into Rosslare Europort were green routed in the light of compliance with the necessary customs formalities and these movements were able to leave the ports without intervention by Revenue or the other State agencies

- 2,474 (29%) of movements into Dublin Port and 170 (25%) of movements into Rosslare Europort were orange routed involving subsequent documentary checks by Revenue or the other State agencies

- 299 (3%) of movements into Dublin Port and 9 (1%) of movements into Rosslare Europort were red routed involving subsequent physical examination by Revenue or the other State agencies.

Where goods cannot be green routed immediately on arrival in Ireland, the time taken to resolve the matter is dependent on the matter that has given rise to an orange or red routing and whether an inspection of the goods is required. Where the issue relates to outstanding information and documentation, the sooner the business provides the information to Revenue and/or the other State agencies, the faster the goods will be released. Goods of animal or plant origin may take longer to clear as, in addition to documentary checks, physical inspections of the goods may also be required. Physical inspection times vary depending on the size and mix of the loads and the type of the goods. I am advised by Revenue that a breakdown of the inspection times on the basis set out by the Deputy is not available. Revenue has emphasised that in its engagement with trade and businesses it has consistently drawn attention to the fact that the time taken to complete import formalities can be minimised by providing timely and accurate information as part of the customs declaration process and by timely response to requests for supplementary documentation when such requests arise.

The movement details and breakdown provided to the Deputy cover destinations in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Under the terms of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, goods destined for Northern Ireland may move under the Common Transit Convention or businesses may choose to complete their customs formalities in Ireland and subsequently move the goods to Northern Ireland. Additionally, during the early days of January, movements that had commenced as an intra-EU movement before 11pm on 31 December 2020, did not require a customs declaration and were able to complete that movement without the need for additional paperwork. For these reasons I am advised by Revenue that it is not possible to provide a breakdown of the figures by Ireland and Northern Ireland.