Local Minister Denis Naughten has suggested that pre-clearance facilities, similar to those enjoyed by air travel passengers, should be offered for freight and cargo companies shipping to the Unites States of America and believes the Port of Foynes could benefit from the idea which would significantly benefit the entire region.
Minister Naughten recently met with the US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley, and asked him to consider his suggestion of freight pre-clearance which would involve US custom officials being based in Foynes to give full US freight pre-clearance. Such a move could see the port in Limerick developed to rival Rotterdam Port in Holland, the central destination for European freight companies shipping goods to the US.
“Shannon Airport was the first airport in the world (outside the Americas) to offer full US pre-clearance facilities to passengers travelling to the USA so the Shannon region has a distinguished history when it comes to US pre-clearance,” stated Minister Naughten. “Rotterdam is becoming hugely congested as the main port of Europe and there is potential to develop a major port at Foynes on the western seaboard that would act as a transit point for freight to and from North America.
“My suggestion is to do what we have done for air travel passengers and have pre-clearance for large freight out of Foynes into the United States. Freight would come into Foynes, get scanned there, get certified and land in New York and would be the same as an internal shipment.
“Our second biggest export destination is the USA. From a Brexit point of view this is an opportunity to attract industry from right across Europe that is exporting into the US which would benefit companies throughout this region too. The reality is post-Brexit exports into the UK are going to be put under pressure so this is an opportunity to make a new market and make it far more efficient for the export of goods.”