‘Phased recruitment’ of 116 new border control staff to begin in 2019

The “phased recruitment” of 116 new border control staff by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is set to begin in 2019.

In response to a recent parliamentary question, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, outlined that his department has been “working intensively with other departments and agencies – through whole-of-Government coordination structures – on all aspects of Brexit preparedness”.

From an agri-food perspective, this will include the provision of the necessary infrastructure and resources to carry out import controls at ports and airports on animal, plants, and products of animal and plant origin imported from the UK – as well as to provide any necessary export certification required by the UK in respect of such products, the minister explained.

Commenting on the matter, he said: “We will also have to ensure that arrangements are in place to facilitate rapid transit of product via the UK landbridge between Ireland and other member states.

The introduction of these measures will involve the allocation of significant additional infrastructural, staffing and IT resources at ports, airports, exporting plants and department offices.

“From a staffing perspective, my department’s immediate planning relates to the phased recruitment of staff for sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) – and fisheries controls – over the period to 2021.

“This will commence with phase one in 2019, which will involve the recruitment of an additional 116 SPS and fisheries control staff – as agreed by Government on September 18,” he said.

The minister confirmed that arrangements are currently being put in place to commence this recruitment process.