Ireland eases customs rules

The Irish Tax Authority has temporarily eased post-Brexit customs arrangements after some trucks were unable to deliver goods from Britain. Those difficulties caused Stena Line to cancel some sailings from Friday January 8th.

Ferry firm Stena Line cancelled 12 sailings from Dublin to Holyhead and the southern Irish port of Rosslare to Fishguard in Wales over the next five days, citing a “significant drop” in freight volumes due to supply chain problems.

Covid-19 travel restrictions have at the same time massively reduced passenger demand.

Stena Line said that a recent service from Rosslare had just four freight units.

Stena recently doubled its direct Ireland to France freight service in response to demand for an alternative route to the land-bridge across Wales and England used pre-Brexit by around 3,000 lorries each week.

The UK’s departure from the EU has dramatically increased the levels of paperwork required to move goods from Ireland to Great Britain. The Irish tax authority had warned ahead of the changes that for Irish firms, this would mean a 12-fold rise in the number of import and export declarations.

Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners said they were aware that some trucks had been denied boarding at Holyhead port in Wales. The Commissioners introduced a temporary fix late on Thursday, January 7th. Firms can use an override code to complete safety and security Entry Summary Declarations (ESD) which will in turn make Revenue aware of which firms need help in adapting to the new customs formalities.

Irish consumers were reported to be experiencing difficulties with some British retailers pausing deliveries to Ireland. Marks & Spencer said that Britain’s withdrawal from EU trade rules was responsible for near-empty fresh-food aisles at some of its stores in Ireland this week.