The department is set to increase daily inspection cover at Rosslare Europort to 18 hours, according to an independent TD.

Wexford TD Verona Murphy said that the department has agreed to have agriculture and food inspectors at place at the port from 4:00am to 10:00pm.

“Back in December I highlighted and explained the need for increased cover. The department has now committed to providing 18-hours cover per day,” Murphy said.

One would hope that this level of cover would be sufficient, in the absence of 24-hour cover, to ensure that all parties can work a normal working day without any unnecessary delays or disruption in the movement of goods.

“Time will tell whether the 18 hours of cover will be enough, but I certainly welcome the fact that cover has been increased,” she added.

The TD went on to call on the government to ensure the development of appropriate infrastructure at the port.

“It is now time for the government to build on recent progress by providing the €200 million required to mitigate against the disastrous effects of Brexit and ensure that Rosslare Europort’s infrastructure is developed to a standard which reflects its status as Ireland’s most strategic port,” Murphy argued.

NI port protocol

Yesterday (Monday, January 4), Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) published two guides, with the aim to help traders navigate new procedures for moving animals, plants, food and feed from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

DAERA and the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland (FSA NI) have been appointed as the ‘central competent authorities’ for the regulation of imports that will be subject to SPS (sanitary and phytosanitary) checks in Northern Ireland under EU legislation.

That means they will be responsible for verifying imports entering Northern Ireland comply with EU law.

The two documents – Guidance for Authorised Traders (during the three-month grace period) and the Compliance Protocol – set out the new processes that will come into effect for retail and agri-food goods.