US to expand pre-clearance facilities at Dublin, Shannon airports

State among few countries where US-bound passengers clear immigration on departure

US pre-clearance at Dublin Airport

US pre-clearance at Dublin Airport

 

The United States is to expand its pre-clearance facilities in Dublin and Shannon airport, its customs and border protection agency has announced.

At a ceremony in Washington on Tuesday an agreement was signed by Irish Ambassador to the United States Dan Mulhall and Todd Owen, the agency’s executive assistant commissioner.

“We see the agreement as an excellent vehicle to help our two countries meet the demands of increased travel across the Atlantic,” said Reece Smyth, Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Dublin.

Upon landing in the US, travelers are processed as domestic arrivals as they go through customs and border protection in Dublin
Upon landing in the US, travelers are processed as domestic arrivals as they go through customs and border protection in Dublin

The amended arrangement was originally agreed in January. It must go to the Dáil for approval before coming into force.

The agreement paves the way for extended service hours, additional staff and other measures at the pre-clearance facilities in Dublin and Shannon.

Ireland is one of the few countries in the world where passengers travelling to the US can clear immigration at the point of departure rather than when they arrive in the country – a move that saves millions of travellers time each year. Some 1.9 million passengers availed of the service last year.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross welcomed the news, noting that the cost would not be a burden on the Exchequer

“US preclearance is a valuable asset for Ireland and has been an enormous success,” he said. “The ease of doing business, the scale of air connectivity and the on-going availability of preclearance, are significant trade, tourism and cultural facilitators between two countries which have a long and unique relationship.”