For Written Answer on : 18/01/2024
Question Number(s): 280 Question Reference(s): 2205/24
Department: Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if he has received a request from the Port of Cork seeking approval for a full border control post designation for Ringaskiddy container and ferry terminals; if he will be in a position to support such a proposal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Currently, Cork Port is a designated border control post for container shipments of wood and wood products. Inspections of these products take place at the Tivoli Container Terminal near Cork City. However, it should be noted that the physical infrastructure required for handling bulk wood products and that required for handling food products, are very different.
Between 2015 and 2018, a number of meetings took place between my Department and the Port of Cork. In December 2018, the Port authority advised that they did not intend to pursue the building of a border control post at that time, and they would consider that as a second phase of their development. They have since submitted a business case for the building of a border control post, capable of handling food products.
As a border control post may only be located in a customs-controlled area, this business case can only be considered in the context of Revenue designating any place where it is proposed that a border control post will be built, as a customs-controlled area.
In recent years, the focus of my Department has been on ensuring sufficient border control post infrastructure was available to deal with sanitary and phytosanitary goods being imported, into the European Union Single Market from Great Britain, following the Brexit Referendum. This involved a very substantial expansion of border control post infrastructure at Dublin Port, as well as the building of an interim facility at Rosslare Port. Construction of a permanent facility in Rosslare Europort is underway.
The issue of whether an additional border control post might be required in Port of Cork remains under consideration and officials from my Department continue engagement with Cork Port and to analyse the requirements for this facility.