The Revenue Commissioners are preparing for full customs checks involving officials from a number of Government departments in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to the Irish Times.
Revenue officials were speaking at a conference on the impact of Brexit on the agri-food industry, where Agriculture Minister Michael Creed spoke, along with Simon Coveney, CEO of Greencore, and Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia.
Carol-Ann O’Keeffe, assistant principal at the Revenue’s corporate affairs and customs division, said that the group was preparing for no regulatory alignment from March next year.
Worst Case Preparations
The worst case scenario, she claimed, involved economic goods being subject to checks with livestock and “plant origin” goods being subject to Border controls.
She added that it was the customs barriers that will likely cause the biggest disruption, as opposed to an increase in tariffs, as customs declarations must be submitted on imports and exports.
O’Keeffe, however, did say she was hopeful a deal could be reached that could allow goods going to Ireland could use the UK land bridge from Europe, and pass through the UK unsealed.
During the summer the government agreed to hire an additional 700 customs officials and an additional 300 extra staff to carry out inspections on goods moving between the two countries.
O’Keeffe said that Revenue’s trusted trade status was “of no benefit” to agri-food producers and suppliers since border inspections are required to check agricultural products.