Feature, Freight News, Sea

Portsmouth presses ahead with new Border Post

[ July 13, 2021   //   ]

Portsmouth International Port’s new Border Control Post (BCP) is taking shape ahead of the expected introduction of new import controls from 1 January 2022.
New purpose built facilities, which meet DEFRA specification for checking plant and products of animal origin, will include refrigerated units for chilled and frozen products, inspection rooms and cross docking abilities, where cargo can be unloaded and checked easily. They have been built with the help of a £17.1m grant from the government’s Ports Infrastructure Fund and will generate over 100 new posts in port health, operations, customs and Border Force operations.
Port director Mike Sellers, said: “The whole team is working incredibly hard to transform port operations from next year.
“We’d like to thank the government for recognising the country’s second busiest cross channel port, and providing vital financial support needed to implement fundamental changes.
“Our contractors are underway on this huge development project and you’ll start to see the BCP taking shape.
“Brand new facilities will be created, which required extra land because we were already at capacity.
“This has allowed us to expand and will be able to increase our role a key port, providing critical routes for UK-EU trade serving the western channel and providing resilience against the challenges of the short crossings in Kent.”
But he added: “Due to a shortfall in funding we regretfully have not been able to support a live animal health check facility, necessary to check the welfare of UK animals used for breeding in the EU. However, if required our construction plans would be ready to go should further funds become available.”
Leader of Portsmouth City Council – the port’s owner – Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: “Our port is a huge asset and contributor to the city and the region.
“We have long since made the case the port needs to be considered when it comes to government support and this funding will support job creation and provide a much needed boost for the city as we come out of this pandemic and prepare for how we manage goods in this country.
“However the cost of the BCP exceeds the amount given by government, so even though this is a government decision the council will have to fund the shortfall as this infrastructure is critical to the port’s import trade.”
Contractors Kiersaid building of the steel structure for the facility will start shortly.
There will be 14 loading bays, 17 cold stores and five inspections rooms and inspection areas.