Freight News, Sea, Road

Minister reveals stopgap solution for Welsh ferry ports

[ January 21, 2022   //   ]

An interim solution will needed to keep goods subject to health controls moving between Ireland and Wales, said Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething.

In a written statement on 19 January, he said that the UK Government has agreed in principle to fund building costs of Border Control Posts to handle sanitary and phytosanitary controls on goods arriving in Wales from Ireland as part of its Spending Review. While the Welsh government expects to be able to appoint a contractor for the Holyhead site shortly, the facility will not be ready for July 2022. Vaughan Gething said he was therefore exploring interim arrangements at Welsh ferry ports to bridge the gap between the introduction of new controls in July 2022 and the finalisation of the permanent BCPs. Basic checks will be completed at the temporary facilities with continued checks at destination for certain commodities.

He also said that the UK Government had agreed to pay only those costs which are absolutely necessary up to and including 2024-25 and the Government has explicitly said it will not meet operational costs.

The UK Government is planning documentary, identity and physical checks on goods at border control posts from July 2022, with checks on products of animal origin being introduced in phases, between July and November 2022.  Checks on live animals are expected to continue to take place at destination until there are sufficient facilities around Great Britain. 

Vaughan Gething  added that the Government has once again extended staged controls for all movements of goods from the island of Ireland to Great Britain beyond 1 January 2022; raising another uncertainty for those who have to make preparations.