Holyhead port's post Brexit customs checks will be done in England until new island facility built

Post Brexit customs checks on lorries arriving at Holyhead port will be carried out in England until a new Anglesey facility is built, according to sources. Proposals for a customs HGV facility on Anglesey Show's existing park-and-ride facility on the Mona Industrial Estate were thrown out by the island's local authority in September. The clock is now ticking down to the end of the transition period on December 31, after which time checks will need to be carried out on traffic coming to the UK from the Republic of Ireland.

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Sources have told North Wales Live that with no site yet found on Anglesey, traffic is set to be directed to interim sites in Birmingham and Warrington.

While most port traffic passes these locations it will mean some trucks heading to local destinations will need to drive into England for checks before travelling back to Wales. There is a phased approach to implementation with "controlled" goods like alcohol and tobacco in phase one on January 1, and from July all goods will be subjected to customs declarations at the point of importation and relevant tariffs applied.

Holyhead Port

A source said the sites in England were a "temporary" measure and that officials have identified two sites - not named at this stage - within 30 minutes of Holyhead port. Discussions are now taking place before a decision is taken on bringing forward one of these sites.

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For the temporary facilities, the Warrington site is understood to be the former Shearings Coach depot at Appleton Thorn, 100 miles from Holyhead.

HMRC said they expect the site to be needed for up to two years. UK Government has also published plans for a 200-space customs site in Solihull near Birmingham (190 miles away from the port) - which they also say would be for up to two years.

Holyhead port's post Brexit customs checks will be done in England until new island facility builtThe Brexit transition period ends on December 31 and, inset, map of the lorry park site identified in Solihull.

They are using emergency planning legislation to push through the plans. Ynys Mon MP Virginia Crosbie raised the issue of Holyhead port at the Welsh Affairs Committee this morning - asking Welsh Secretary Simon Hart what progress had been made on securing an island site.

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Mr Hart said there was an "expectation" that the July deadline - when all goods will need customs declarations - can be met.

He said there were now three or four meetings a week with officials to ensure the potential risk of disruption is "minimised". He added he was as "confident as can be" that a facility would be in place by July. Talks over a last minute post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and EU have resumed.

If there is a trade deal, the detail of customs declarations in terms of the duties and charges associated may change, but fundamentally from January 1 customs declarations and security fillings will be required.

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