Brexit: Dogs being trained for custom and excise activities

Last week the Dáil was told that as part of the Government’s Brexit preparations, 20 detector dog teams have been trained to engage in custom and excise activities along the border counties.

The announcement came from finance minister Paschal Donohoe after deputy Joan Burton asked him to confirm the number of trained dogs engaged in customs and excise activities; the number of dogs under training; and if Revenue planned to increase the number of dogs post Brexit.

Minister Donohoe told those gathered that he had been advised by Revenue that it currently has 20 trained detector dog teams engaged in customs and excise activities.

“This includes one team that operates on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine,” he added.

“Revenue is also running a dog handler competition to fill six further positions that are vacant currently.”

‘Monitoring the situation’

The minister went on to say that Revenue has also confirmed to him that it was satisfied that the current level of detector dog teams met existing customs and excise requirements.

He said the situation was continuously being monitored and further resources would be recruited should the need arise.

Meanwhile, Minister Donohoe confirmed the number of staff assigned to compliance activities in border counties.

These include:
  • Donegal 73;
  • Louth 65;
  • Monaghan 20;
  • Sligo 52.

He added: “Revenue has provided me with details of staff assigned to compliance activities in border counties as well as the total staff based in these counties.

“This includes staff that are assigned to outdoor duties. Revenue is an integrated tax and customs administration and its resources are deployed based on risk rather than by reference to a specific tax or duty.”