SINN Fein MLA Declan McAleer, pictured right, has said it is important freight companies and food importers receive support to help meet requirements and avoid delays as a result of Brexit.
The West Tyrone MLA said: “The failure to properly prepare for the disruption and changes caused by Brexit – changes which we knew were coming at the end of the transition period – are already impacting our freight and food import industry.
“The scale of this is huge. In Belfast port alone 550,000 freight ferry movements take place each year with Britain of a total of 850,000 for the North. Documentary and identity checks must take place on all freight as well as physical checks on agri-products.
“These checks are to protect the integrity of the EU Single Market and our access to that market, which is the biggest in the world.
“It is therefore important that our freight companies and food importers receive the appropriate level of support to help meet these requirements but unfortunately, for many, this has not been the case and they have faced delays.
“Most trailers contain composite loads of different products and each item requires certification.
“This causes delays, which could also
have knock on consequences for the supply of food to our local shops if it is not addressed.
“I have asked the AERA committee to convene on Thursday to highlight these concerns with the DAERA Permanent Secretary, the Chief Vet and other senior officials.
“It is clear that the freight industry needs more support to help them deal with these new processes.”