Fulfilling requirements hasn’t been ‘plain sailing’ for live export ship

It hasn’t been ‘plain sailing‘ for the potential replacement vessel for the ferry which generally carries live export trucks on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route.

A spokesperson for Stena Line confirmed that it has chartered a vessel as a temporary replacement ship for the Stena Horizon – during its planned maintenance dry docking in early 2018.

However, fulfilling the necessary requirements to gain permission to carry live export trucks on the crossing has proved difficult.

AgriLand understands that there have been issues around ventilation; it is unclear how significant these problems may be or whether they can be easily rectified.

Continuing, the spokesperson for the ferry company said: “Stena Line is currently working with the owners to obtain the necessary statutory vessel certifications for this highly specialist trade.

The criteria for carriage is naturally and correctly extremely detailed in relation to key welfare issues such as stability, movement, ventilation, etc.

“As yet, we have not been able to fulfil these requirements – but, we are working hard to find a suitable solution.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine also acknowledged the ongoing discussions.

A spokesperson said: “The department is in active and ongoing discussions with shipping companies in relation to possible alternative options for carrying livestock trucks on that route during the period when the Stena Horizon will be unavailable.

“As these involve commercial decisions on behalf of the companies involved, it is not appropriate for the department to comment further at this time.”