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Seizure of Ship Costs Revenue €410,000, Mostly in Dublin Port Berthing Charges

29th September 2018
Asbestos and three years of legal proceedings hinder disposal of Shingle. The seized vessel, Afloat pictured above in Dublin Port at a berth close to the Tom Clarke (East-Link) toll lift-bridge. Asbestos and three years of legal proceedings hinder disposal of Shingle. The seized vessel, Afloat pictured above in Dublin Port at a berth close to the Tom Clarke (East-Link) toll lift-bridge. Photo: JEHAN ASHMORE

#DublinPort - Four years ago a ship was seized with illegal cigarettes and tobacco has cost the Revenue Commissioners €410,000 and they cannot sell it because it contains asbestos, according to the State’s financial watchdog.

As The Irish Times reports, The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) found that most of the cost was linked to berthing fees charged by Dublin Port Company.

It also reported that an estimated 13 per cent of cigarettes smoked in Ireland are deemed illegal and that Revenue puts the loss of income at €229 million.

The auditor noted the Project Sun – European Union, Norway and Switzerland – survey that Ireland has the third highest rate of counterfeit and contraband cigarettes in the EU in 2016 at 17.5 per cent.

The State also has the highest cigarette price in the EU at €12, and second highest after Norway (€12.30) in continental Europe.

In an assessment of Ireland’s progress in tackling tobacco smuggling the C&AG highlights a costly case for the Revenue when it seized the MV Shingle in June 2014 at Drogheda Port in Co Louth, with 32 million cigarettes and 4,000kg of tobacco.

The consignment, which came from Slovenia via Portugal, represented a potential loss of €13 million to the exchequer.

The vessel was transferred to Dublin Port but could not be sold for another three years until legal proceedings, including an appeal, were completed.

Revenue initially planned to sell the vessel but in poor condition and containing asbestos it was to be disposed of instead through specialist recycling.

For much more on the Shingle's story, click the newspaper here


Published in Dublin Port
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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