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UK passport holders can still use EU customs queue – for now

February 29th, 2020 11:50 AM

By Brian Moore

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CORK Airport has issued a ‘Brexit Update’ Q&A for anyone with concerns about travelling, following the exiting of the UK from the European Union last week.

While the UK left on January 31st, there is a transition period until the end of 2020, during which the UK will still follow all of the EU’s rules and its various trading relationships will remain the same. Effectively, this means that the UK will continue to be treated as if it was still an EU member state until December 31st 2020.

What queue should UK passport holders use at airport immigration now?

There is no real change at Irish immigration for UK passport holders.

At present, UK passport holders are processed through the EU channel at Cork Airport. the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS), which operates immigration, has confirmed that UK passport holders will continue to be processed through the EU channel during the transition period.

To avoid confusion, the signage at immigration will change to show that this is now an EU/UK immigration channel. Cork Airport will also have customer services staff on hand to help passengers and to deal with any queries that may arise.

What customs channel should UK arrivals use?

There is no change at Irish customs for passengers arriving from a UK airport.

During the transition phase, until December 31 this year, all passengers arriving from UK airports should continue to use the Blue Channel, or the Red Channel if they need to make a customs declaration. During the transition period, which lasts until December 31st 2020, the UK is effectively being treated as if it was still an EU state. This transition phase may be extended.

Will duty free shopping return for UK passengers now that the UK has left the EU?

During the transition phase there will be no change to the current position relating to duty free shopping when travelling between Cork and UK airports. Until December 31st 2020 the UK is effectively being treated as if it was still an EU state.

Have there been any changes to security screening for Irish or UK passengers since January 31? 

No. UK citizens and those travelling to the UK should continue to comply with all existing security processes and requirements.

What will happen after the transition period ends, will there be new changes for people travelling to and from Cork Airport and UK airports? 

The overall nature of the relationship between the EU and the UK will be discussed during the transition period. However, both the Irish and British governments have said the Common Travel Area (CTA) will continue to apply in all circumstances. Under the CTA, Irish and UK citizens can move freely and live in either jurisdiction and enjoy associated rights and entitlements. The Government of Ireland, the UK Government, and the EU have all committed to maintaining the CTA and its associated rights and entitlements.

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