Volume of Irish-British freight traffic has been 'significantly altered' by Brexit, survey suggests

Fri 13 Aug 2021
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

Post-Brexit trade frictions have led to ferry freight flows between Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland dropping by 29% in the first half of 2021.

The FT reports a quarterly survey from Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) showing the volume of roll-on roll-off (RoRo) cargo transported between Ireland and Britain had fallen to 355,000 units.

Direct to Europe

Traders from the Republic of Ireland are abandoning the once-speedier British ‘land bridge’ to mainland Europe due to concerns about delays and disruption caused by new customs controls on entering Great Britain, the Irish Times reports

Traffic between Irish and British ports is down to 67% of all Irish RoRo volumes compared to 84% two years ago. Direct routes to the EU have doubled their share to 33%.

“It is clear in the first six months since Brexit, the configuration of Irish RoRo traffic has been significantly altered,” said the agency, which provides support to maritime businesses.

Welsh ports affected

Nation Cymru said traders had “abandoned” the Welsh port of Holyhead as a result. However, Business Live reported work on developing a border control post at Holyhead was continuing with the planning application fast-tracked ahead of physical checks on EU goods that are set to be introduced at the beginning of 2022.

The Welsh Government is responsible for post-Brexit checks on goods such as animals, plants and products of animal origin entering Wales from the Republic of Ireland and has identified a site.

HMRC needs a nearby plot to deal with customs checks, which are the responsibility of the UK Government and is still “identifying a suitable location”.

Under the delayed Border Operating Model, from 1 January 2022 full customs declarations will also be required for goods coming from the Irish Republic (ie the EU) into Great Britain.