Industrial action planned at Northern Irish Ports: Advice from Irish Exporters Association

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The Department of Transport has been notified by the Northern Ireland Executive Office that from 00.01 on Monday, 31 October, government-employed veterinarians in Northern Ireland will engage in industrial action. The action is expected to last until 23.59 on Friday 3 November.

Impacts are expected in abattoirs and ports, with ‘red lane’ imports of foodstuffs under the Windsor Framework and imports/exports requiring animal welfare checks being the greatest source of concern. The ports impacted are Larne, Belfast and Warrenpoint.

There are also impacts expected in food manufacturing and supply chain, where veterinarians conduct regulatory inspections. The Northern Ireland Executive Office is expecting a ‘Divergence of Trade’ to occur and they are currently liaising with Welsh and Scottish colleagues to ensure that logistics bottlenecks do not occur in ports there as a result of this industrial action.

The advice the Northern Irish authorities are currently giving to hauliers using Northern Irish ports is:

1.    Don’t move if it can be avoided, especially cold supply chain.
2.    Make alternative arrangements.

The Department are liaising with their Northern Irish counterparts and we will continue to keep you updated with any further information we receive on this situation.