A Border Inspection Point (BIP) must be established in the Port of Cork in order for goods from outside the European community to be inspected upon arrival, Deputy Colm Burke has said.
Deputy Burke said, “Certain goods which arrive in the Port of Cork currently have to be transported by road to Dublin to get clearance at the BIP in Dublin Port. This is due to the fact that these goods cannot be inspected and given clearance upon arrival in Cork under the present system.
“This increases costs and the administrative burden, and slows goods reaching the businesses in question.
“This is particularly problematic for those importing fresh produce. There are also inconsistencies in the system which we need to address, for instance, bananas from these countries do not require an inspection, whereas vegetables do.
“Delays and additional costs for businesses also impact consumers and we must act to ensure that consumers are not disadvantaged and do not pay a higher price when a simple administrative solution is available.
“I am informed by businesses engaged in this trade that the inspection process itself is not cumbersome and takes minutes, whereby back doors of containers are opened and produce checked for phytosanitary purposes and a stamp is placed on the goods.
“The Port of Cork is the world’s second largest natural harbour and is a key international gateway for trade.
“In 2020 alone, the Port of Cork Company reported a traffic of 10.5 million tonnes. It also has a direct workforce of approximately 150 staff.
“We should utilise this harbour and support both businesses and consumers here in Cork by establishing an inspection process in the Port of Cork. I call on the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine to progress this proposal.”