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Deputy David Stanton recently raised a Topical Issue on construction of a permanent fixed Border Control Post situated at the Port of Cork, which has garnered local media coverage.

A Border Control Post (BCP) is a designated entry point to the European Union market through which consignments of food, food contact materials, animals, feed and plants that are subject to increased import controls must enter the European Union. These import controls are carried out to protect animal welfare and public health, requiring additional documentation and prior notification before arrival of the food to Ireland.

A BCP in Cork could be an alternative, contingency and overflow facility should congestion arise at Dublin Port or Rosslare. Currently, more than two thousands containers per year are sent away from the Port of Cork to examined elsewhere.

The extra transportation for each container to be checked at a BCP, most often in Dublin via Southampton, adds significant costs increasing the price of goods for the end user or consumer. More than 166 tonnes of pollutant emissions could also be avoided if a BCP in Cork handled 2,000 diverted containers annually.

The total budget cost for the construction of a BCP at the Port of Cork would be estimated at €3.5 million. “Which is not huge in the overall context when we bear in mind the actual benefits to the country as a whole. Cork has a catchment area that represents a large and strategically important part of the State’s population and economic base”, as stated by Deputy Stanton in Dáil Éireann.

Local media in Cork (The Echo, C103, and 96FM) have all picked up on this important Topical Issue raised by Deputy Stanton, which is under consideration by the Department of Agriculture, Food and The Marine following a business case that was submitted to the department by the Port of Cork.

Cork Port is currently only designated for container shipments of wood and wood products, while a temporary derogation to use it for the import of melons for the 2024 season has been approved.