Displaying items by tag: Brexit
Almost €8 million, The Irish Times reports, has been spent by the State buying land and developing properties at Dublin Port, Dublin airport and Rosslare Europort for border checks post-Brexit.
Paschal Donohoe the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform said the Office of Public Works (OPW) has spent €7.8 million to date on acquiring and developing physical infrastructure for use at the two ports and the airport.
The Minister revealed the spending on infrastructure for a no-deal Brexit in response to a parliamentary question tabled by Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath.
The State has taken control of a 13,000sq m warehouse at Dublin Port previously owned by businessman Harry Crosbie, and purchased 16 acres outside Rosslare port that was owned by car dealer Bill Cullen.
Both men lost control of the properties in the financial crash. Mr Donohoe did not provide a breakdown of the State’s spending on the individual properties.
The State fast-tracked the takeover of the former Crosbie warehouse and the Rosslare property for inspections of goods and containers should the UK leave the EU without a deal on March 31st. The Brexit date has since been extended until October 31st.
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As the Irish Examiner writes the Port of Cork is poised to set up a special "border control" facility to help ease congestion at Dublin and Rosslare should Britain crash out of the EU.
A British-Irish Chamber of Commerce meeting in Cork heard from the port's chief executive Brendan Keating, who said it was stepping up its plans to handle more traffic. "We are seeking to develop what is called a border control point. Dublin has built one and is prepared for a worst-case scenario hard Brexit. Rosslare is ready. We are about to start preparation on one to facilitate inspections of products coming to and from the country.
"We are doing it because the Government is somewhat concerned that with congestion in Dublin and Rosslare, other ports will have to kick in and facilitate trade movement. We are next and we will prepare. We will be ready in time," Mr Keating said.
The Port of Cork was somewhat insulated from a hard Brexit because its business is less dependant on daily trade across the Irish Sea. As a "lift-on, lift-off" port, it hoped to grow its market share from 20% to 25% once the multimillion redevelopment of Ringaskiddy is completed, Mr Keating said.
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#ferries - The Port of Holyhead has shown “no sense of emergency” about Brexit, while Dublin Port bemoaned the huge expense preparing for a no-deal exit that might not happen, the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly heard.
As The Irish Times writes at the biannual gathering of Irish and UK parliamentarians heard details of a report from one of its committees on a visit to the two Irish Sea ports by a delegation from the assembly to assess preparations for Brexit.
The committee painted a contrasting picture on preparations being taken in Dublin and Holyhead.
Darren Millar, a Conservative member of the Welsh national assembly, said that Dublin Port officials expressed concern about the number of customs officials that still needed to be hired to deal with a potential no-deal Brexit.
“Our biggest concern was that there was huge effort and huge expense going into these things and they may not be required,” he said on Tuesday, the second day of the assembly at Druids Glen in Co Wicklow.
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#ferries - At the end of last year Irish Continental Group (ICG) announced its decision not to run its Irish Ferries services this summer to France from Rosslare, Co Wexford, the move was met with both surprise and shock in the south-east port.
After all, the Irish Independent writes, the company's new 'cruise ferry', the WB Yeats, which can carry more than 1,800 passengers and 1,200 vehicles, had just arrived in Ireland after a delay and there were great expectations that ICG would put the ship on its Rosslare to Cherbourg, France route.
Instead, ICG decided to operate the ferry service from Dublin Port to Cherbourg, lured by the scope for additional business in the capital.
Irish Ferries is still operating its Rosslare-to-Pembroke service while Stena runs from the south eastern port to Fishguard as well as to Cherbourg.
But if many were stunned by the move, for some in the Rosslare business community it was a progression for Irish Ferries that should have been anticipated.
According to Damien Roche, managing director of Rosslare-based Roche Logistics Group, which he co-owns with his brother Conor, it was simply a numbers game for ICG.
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Afloat.ie adds Irish Ferries decision last year to abandon Rosslare also involved a second route to France, Roscoff in Brittany which was only operated in the peak-season summer months. This leaves Brittany Ferries as the sole operator maintaining an Ireland-Brittany link on the Cork-Roscoff route which is experiencing a passenger boost.
#dublinport - Dublin Port's CEO has defended the company’s proposal to limit cruise ship traffic because of capacity issues.
Eamonn O’Reilly told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that the plan is to reduce the number of cruise ships allowed into Dublin from 160 this year to 80 in 2021 because of the need for increased capacity for container traffic when the UK leaves the EU.
It is necessary to ration available capacity, he explained given the competition for berth spaces.
Mr O’Reilly said Dublin Port company had a long discussion with the Minister for Transport Shane Ross this week during which they discussed Brexit, borrowing and cruise berths.
BreakingNews.ie has more on the port proposal.
In a circular to members, EBA general secretary Stuart Carruthers reiterates advice given at the association’s recent General Assembly in Helsinki, as received from the European Commission.
“In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, boats which are lying in the UK at the time of Brexit will lose their Union status (ie they will lose their right to free circulation in the EU),” he writes.
“On their return to the EU they will be treated as non-Union goods and will be subject to customs controls in the same way as any other vessel coming from a third country would be. This could result in VAT and, if applicable, import duty being payable.”
Trade in fish from the EU to Britain will be subject to a range of tariffs in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
But there will be zero tariffs for goods traded from the Republic to Northern Ireland under the temporary measures announced by the UK government this morning (Wednesday 13 March).
It follows the Commons defeat of Theresa May’s latest tabling of her Withdrawal Agreement deal, with MPs set to vote tonight on whether to rule out the no-deal Brexit option.
It is now proposed that should Britain leave the EU without a deal, no new customs checks or controls would be introduced on the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland.
However, tariffs would still apply on goods moving from the EU into the rest of Britain via Northern Ireland.
The new regime zero-rates tariffs across many imports into Britain after a no-deal Brexit. But agri-food products are among the listed exceptions, with a range of rates applying.
Fish and seafood will be subject to a range of import tariffs from 7.5% for frozen monkfish meat (excluding fillets) to 24% for prepared or preserved tuna (excluding bluefin).
A rate of 12% will apply to frozen crustaceans, while frozen fish will be hit with 8% charges, with fillets levied an extra percent.
The Irish Farmers’ Association has already branded the proposals as disastrous for Ireland’s agricultural industry, singling out beef as one of is “most exposed sectors”, as RTÉ News reports.
Third country customs controls will apply to all pleasure craft moving within UK waters in the event of a no-deal Brexit, HM Revenue & Customs has confirmed to British Marine regarding the VAT Paid Status of recreational craft.
Upon exit from the European Union, which is currently scheduled for Friday 29 March, “customs declarations may be required for pleasure craft which are being imported to the UK from other EU countries and export declarations will be required for pleasure craft sold to other EU countries”.
For goods moving in and out of the UK temporarily, private owners and businesses alike will be required to use special customs procedures such as Temporary Admission or the Carnet system.
“These procedures will require personal owners or traders to provide financial security to cover any potential liability for import duty. It will be for importers and exporters to decide which process will be most suitable.”
For the time being, UK-based importers will have to prepare for import VAT payments on non-UK vessels, though “for the foreseeable future” these payments will not be due up front and may be reflected in regular VAT returns.
Import VAT relief may be available to some ex-pat UK owners under certain conditions. And vessels brought into the UK from the EU for works will be subject to customs procedures along the same lines as non-EU vessels are at present
In Ireland, temporary admissions (for up to 18 months) of pleasure craft from outside the EU can be made without payment of VAT or Customs Duty.
The planned redevelopment of the dockyard site into a modern, urban waterfront settlement had been hailed as a ‘game-changer’ for the town when funding was secured to purchase the dockyard from the Doyle Shipping Group last November.
Cork County Council was granted €1.9m by the Government to purchase the eight-acre site but in a ‘bombshell’ announcement yesterday, County Hall chiefs said the site has been taken off the market and the funding would likely be lost.
Senior Executive Officer in County Hall, Jim Molloy, said the dockyard was no longer for sale because the uncertainty that Brexit has created for Ireland’s future shipping needs.
The announcement was described as a bitter blow for Passage West but Mr Molloy said a ‘wait and see’ approach is being adopted by shipping companies and ports until the implications of Brexit are known.
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Minister Creed said: “I had a very constructive meeting today with Commissioner Vella where we again discussed the exposure of the Irish fishing sector to the threats posed by a no-deal Brexit.
“I made clear my view that a no-deal Brexit poses serious challenges for the Irish fishing industry and a co-ordinated EU response will be required.
“Obviously, we all hope that the Withdrawal Agreement which EU negotiated with the UK Government will be agreed and that we all avoid the uncertainty of a no-deal outcome.”
The Commission has brought forward legislative proposals dealing with the possible use of temporary cessation measures, quota swapping with the UK and potential reciprocal access, which Minster Creed has welcomed.
“The Commissioner has already brought forward a number of proposals, which I welcome, to deal with possible impacts arising from a disorderly Brexit, but more measures will be required,” the minister said.
“Commissioner Vella has a solid understanding of the scale of the potential problems facing the EU fishing industry and the Irish industry in particular.”
Minster Creed and the Commissioner discussed a number of issues that might arise from a disorderly Brexit, including loss of access for Irish and other EU vessels to the UK fishing zone, protection of fish stocks in the waters around Ireland from a subsequent increase in fishing activity, and potential mitigation measures at EU level.
“It is imperative that the Commission continue its leading role in ensuring that there will be a co-ordinated EU response to ensure the ongoing viability of our fleets and the long-term sustainability of the stocks upon which they rely,” Minister Creed added.