The Port of Cork has doubled the size of its customs facilities in preparation that the UK will depart the European Union (EU) with a no-deal Brexit on October 31, 2019.
Following examination of historical data and several simulation studies, the Irish port concluded that if the UK leaves the EU single market and customs union without an agreement it is likely that more intensive checks and declarations will be required.
Such an outcome is likely to substantially increase processing times at the border, it noted in a statement.
Brendan Keating, chief executive at the Port of Cork, said: “The Port of Cork, including the new Cork Container Terminal, has made extensive preparations to ensure that importers’ and exporters’ operations from the port run smoothly when the UK leaves the EU.
“Larger customs facilities will ensure that we can continue to ensure prompt vessel turnarounds and efficient supply chains without extended interruption from any additional administrative formalities.”
The port is the second largest in the Republic of Ireland in terms of turnover, and handles all vessel types including lift-on lift-off (lo-lo), bulk liquid, bulk solid, breakbulk, roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) and cruise ships.
Last year, it handled 10.66m tonnes of traffic including total container traffic of 228,762 teu.
Capt. Paul O’Regan, chief operations officer of the Port of Cork, stated: “The port has regularly reviewed the impact of various forms of Brexit on our activities, and we are working locally and nationally with Customs and with the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine to ensure that we are Brexit ready.”
In addition to the port’s investment in additional customs facilities, it has also recently €80m (US$89m) in a new container terminal, in a bid to secure Cork as an international gateway for trade well into the future.
Cork Container Terminal will become operational next year.