To transport goods from Great Britain to Ireland, including from Welsh ports, hauliers need a Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN) from the Irish Revenue. Without it they will not be able to enter the port to board the ferry, and will be turned away.
Since 1 January around 20% of HGVs have been turned away from Holyhead Port because they do not have the correct paperwork. With an increase in freight traffic expected, more hauliers could be turned away. Forecasts from the UK Government have predicted between 40% and 70% of hauliers could be turned away from ports.
Contingency plans are in place at Holyhead to minimise any potential disruption to the port, town and community as a result of HGVs being turned away. Hauliers without the correct paperwork will be redirected along the contraflow on the A55 to junction 4 where they will turn off and join the westbound carriageway where they will either be stacked while they sort their paperwork, or be redirected to Parc Cybi.
Minister for Transport and North Wales Ken Skates said:
When we announced our contingency plans for Holyhead Port we said the New Year period was expected to be quiet, following a very high level of freight passing through the port before Christmas. mid-January is expected to be the peak period for HGVs being turned away.
Many hauliers are prepared for the changes which are now in place as a result of the EU Transition period. But, as the experience of the first few days have shown, as expected there are a number who are not. I would urge all hauliers and freight companies which transport goods from Welsh ports to Ireland to familiarise themselves with the process and ensure they have a Pre-Boarding Notification ID before they arrive at the port.
Our contingency plans are there to minimise disruption for the port itself and the wider community. They are in place and ready to be used should the need arise and as we approach mid-January we will be reaching a busier time for freight at the port. We will keep our plans under constant review.
Anglesey Council Leader, Councillor Llinos Medi, added:
We’re working closely with Welsh Government, North Wales Police, Port Authority and other key partners to ensure safe and efficient trade and traffic movement through the Port of Holyhead, whilst protecting our local communities.
Given the expected increase in freight volume over the coming weeks, I would echo the Minister’s call for hauliers to be prepared when they reach the Port of Holyhead. Despite contingencies being in place, I would also ask local residents and businesses to bear in mind the impact that any potential traffic congestion in the Holyhead area and on the A55 could have on their lives and daily routines, and to plan any essential journeys accordingly.
Details on how to create a Pre-Boarding Notification ID are available on the Irish Revenue website.
Information is also available on Preparing Wales.