My Department has been working to assess the infrastructure requirements at ports and airports that handle consignments of plants, animals and plant and animal products from the United Kingdom. This work is part of a co-ordinated Government-wide approach involving the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Department of Health and the Office of Public Works.
On leaving the European Union, the UK will become a third country and as such checks to ensure compliance with EU rules, so called SPS checks, will be required on consignments of plants, animals and plant and animal products originating in the UK. These checks will be required whether the UK leaves with a deal or leaves with no deal. EU legislation requires that these checks are carried out at ports or airports that have designated facilities called border control posts, BCPs.
Consignments that will be subject to SPS checks when the UK leaves the EU are currently entering Ireland at Rosslare Europort. For this reason, Rosslare Europort has been identified as a future location for a border control post. Work is under way, in conjunction with the Office of Public Works, to identify a suitable site for the construction of the BCP. The BCP will be located in a central control compound that will also house the required facilities for the other governmental bodies.
The location, design and functionality of this compound needs careful and precise planning to ensure that it is fit for purpose and achieves value for money. The facility must meet and be operated in compliance with EU legislative requirements.
As a result of the co-ordinated Government-wide process involving the various impacted arms of the State, certain efficiencies and savings have been identified through the potential to share specific areas of the facilities. My Department will continue to look for innovative, cost-effective solutions throughout the planning, design and implementation process.