“Concerns raised by UK supply chain operators is a common concern for Irish exporters” – Simon McKeever, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association

The Irish Exporters Association has (today) reiterated its position on the impact of Brexit on Irish logistics operators accessing UK ports from 1st January 2021 via the land-bridge and the knock-on effect this will have on Irish exporters. The IEA previously commented that while the possible introduction of green lanes for Irish food products at EU ports is welcomed, there is no guarantee that Irish hauliers, transiting the land bridge, will experience the same fast-tracking procedures when accessing UK ports. This concern applies to all Irish exports and imports on this route, not just food products.

The Associations’ comments come in light of a joint letter sent on behalf of UK logistics operators to the UK’s Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, in which they highlight the severe impact to supply chains from 1st January 2021 when the UK’s transition out of the EU comes to an end.

 Chief Executive Simon McKeever commented: “UK exports to the EU will have to follow EU customs controls from 1st January next year, which means that IT management systems will have to be put in place to ensure that exports destined for the single market meet EU requirements.

To date, UK authorities have been slow to come forward with these systems which ultimately will manage the flow of lorries at UK borders and ensure that consignments are cleared to proceed to the EU. This is a major issue of concern for Irish exports that make their way to the EU market via the land-bridge, and indeed for imports into Ireland coming via the same route from the EU.

 While efforts to introduce green lanes to swiftly transit Irish food products is welcome, it won’t be enough to stop blockages as a result of tail backs in and around UK ports. The concerns raised by UK logistics organisations to UK authorities should be noted by Irish supply chain operators, as they are a common concern. With a cliff-edge Brexit looking more and more probable, we are likely to need more direct shipping routes to the EU, and the Government needs to be preparing contingency plans for this.

I urge all traders to redouble their efforts to prepare for Brexit.”