DUBLIN: Freight from the UK to Ireland has slowed due to post-Brexit checks and COVID-19 restrictions. Statistics also show that there has been a sharp decline in the number of trucks arriving in Ireland. Concerns have been raised that shelves in Irish supermarkets and grocery stores will be empty if this level continues.
Port officials say truck arrivals from the UK are 50% lower than expected. Officials said post-Brexit checks were the biggest barrier to deliveries from the UK. The problems are the slow pace of procedures in the UK and the inability of truckers to adapt to the new environment. However, Ireland hopes to overcome all traffic congestion in the coming days. Officials said the slowdown did not disrupt the food supply chain as supermarkets had stockpiled in advance.
COVID-19 travel barrier has also adversely affected cargo movement, officials said. Many ferries do not operate All shops in Ireland are closed due to Level 5 restrictions, so less goods are needed here. However, Officials say trade is expected to pick up in the coming weeks.
Eddie Burke from the Department of Transport said the main reason for the non-COVID delays was the lack of preparation in the UK. Other factors include intense pressure on customs agencies and the difficulty of adapting to a new set of arrangements.
Tom Talbot, head of Customs Operations at Dublin Port, confirmed that the number of trucks delivering goods to Ireland was much lower than at the same time in previous years. The first goods to arrive in Ireland were mostly perishable goods. Non-perishable goods are expected to arrive in the coming weeks. Talbot said 80% of trucks been ‘green routed’ through Dublin Port over the past few days.
Customs declarations must be made and health certificates must be produced for all agricultural food items. If a truck is an orange or green routed, it must be approved by Customs, HSE and the Department of Agriculture. “If documents are not there, the reality is there will be delayed for both truck drivers and goods,” Mr. Talbot said.
Without the required documentation, truck drivers and freight will face delays. He said there were trucks that had not stopped due to delays in inspections, but everything would be fine in the coming days.
Revenue announced last week that it would temporarily simplify ferry procedures, including the ENS number. This is expected to speed up the movement of goods. He said that there will be strict rules and regulations here, but it is a new situation and efforts will be made to solve the problems by giving maximum concessions realizing the unfamiliarity.
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