By Pádraic Daly
Construction of a new border inspection post at Rosslare Europort has cost the Irish Government over €3.5 million since construction began earlier this year.
The total spend on the construction was €3,541,914 as of the end of October, according to figures obtained by TheCity.ie under the Freedom of information Act.
The development, being carried out by the Office of Public Works (OPW), consists of facilities allowing the Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, and the Revenue to conduct checks on goods entering and leaving the country post-Brexit.
Work commenced in March on a 16-hectare site near to the port, which was purchased by the Government for €1.6 million.
The site will have inspection areas for goods and livestock coming into the country from the UK, as well as facilities for drivers and parking areas for trucks.
“It is worth upwards of €11 million to the Irish economy”
Rosslare Europort is the second largest port in the country, and sees 120,000 trucks pass through it every year. It is worth upwards of €11 million to the Irish economy.
Interim facilities are due to be completed by January 2020, with more permanent facilities due to be in place by the end of 2020. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the OPW is certain construction at Rosslare will be able to cope with the custom checks required.
A spokesperson for the OPW stated: “Interim infrastructure was put in place in Rosslare to deal with the possibility of a no-deal Brexit in March. This has been enhanced incrementally since then. The final phase of the development of this interim infrastructure is under way and will be completed by early January 2020.
“Brexit is not a completely negative story for every port in Ireland”
“The OPW are satisfied that the temporary facilities provided in Rosslare will be sufficient to allow import controls to be conducted in a timely and efficient manner thereby facilitating legitimate trade to the greatest extent possible.”
Speaking in the Oireachtas last Thursday, Minister for Transport Shane Ross said: “Brexit is not a completely negative story for every port in Ireland. I gather that Rosslare Port is looking for potential opportunities arising from Brexit.”
The new opportunities Minister Ross referred to include a plan to spend €25 million on upgrading the facilities at the port.
Minister Ross explained that the port is also investing in infrastructure to deal with increased levels of traffic after Brexit: “Some €1.8 million will be spent every year for the next five years on general renewal and maintenance.
“€1.5 million will be invested in information technology and creating a smart and automated port which will include vehicle recognition systems, trailer tracking systems, compound management and check-in and check-out systems.”
A further €12.5 million is due to be spent upgrading the port to cater for larger ships.