Dublin Port site for storing seized contraband may be used for Brexit checks

The Government has said it is looking to build offices for an additional 144 staff that will be required within Dublin Port

 Shipping freight in Dublin Port. Almost 90%  of roll-on, roll-off road freight in Ireland  passed through the port in 2017. Photograph: Alan Betson

Shipping freight in Dublin Port. Almost 90% of roll-on, roll-off road freight in Ireland passed through the port in 2017. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

A site at Dublin Port where the Revenue Commissioners store seized cigarettes and other contraband is one of the locations considered for new Brexit-related facilities being planned by the Government.

The 13-acre site at Tolka Quay, next to East Point Business Park and facing Clontarf, is Dublin Port Company’s preferred long-term location for the new customs offices, truck parking and border controls post for live animal inspections that have to be built after the UK leaves the EU in March.

Part of the large strip is home to the Revenue’s State warehouse that is used to store large volumes of cigarettes and tobacco, alcohol and other goods, which could be reconstituted to customs facilities.

The Government said this week that it was buying sites at Dublin Port and Rosslare for extra customs and border control and sanitary and phytosanitary facilities for checking live animal and related products.

In a 133-page contingency action plan published on Wednesday the Government said it was looking to build offices for an additional 144 staff that will be required within Dublin Port – the busiest sea port in the country – parking for 270 trucks and 33 inspection bays to prepare for the post-Brexit requirements.

The State warehouse land would not be ready in time for a no-deal Brexit scenario by the end of March, forcing the Government to consider a temporary solution to be urgently adapted to house these new facilities.

The port has another 14-acre site further east along Tolka Quay used for the transit storage of cargo, which would be used as an interim emergency measure to accommodate queues of trucks awaiting secondary inspections.

There is also a large storage facility – the former Crosbie Warehouse on Tolka Quay Road – next to the ferry terminals that could also be used for secondary inspections by State agencies.

Border controls

“Any land lost by Dublin Port Company either on an interim or long-term basis for the provision of border controls necessitated by Brexit is regrettable and takes away from the port’s long-term capacity,” said the port company’s chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly.

Dublin Port Company has been working actively on Brexit preparations since December 2017, and is spending €10 million building primary inspection facilities for ferries arriving from the UK.

Almost 90 per cent of roll-on, roll-off road freight in Ireland – almost 1 million freight vehicles – passed through the port in 2017. About 870,000 units travelled on four services – operated by Irish Ferries, Stena Line, P&O and Seatruck – from Dublin to the UK ports of Holyhead, Liverpool and Heysham.