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Ireland and US agree to enhanced preclearance services at Dublin and Shannon Airports

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D. and the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr Shane Ross T.D. have welcomed the entry into force the revised Agreement amending the Ireland / United States Preclearance Agreement which will allow for additional and enhanced preclearance services at Dublin and Shannon Airports.


The changes represent agreement reached earlier this year between Irish and US officials following detailed negotiations.


Welcoming the agreement the Tánaiste Simon Coveney said:


“I welcome today the final step in strengthening the support for preclearance facilities in Ireland. This agreement, and the Government’s support for it, will directly and positively impact air travellers transiting through Dublin and Shannon airports.

“As a result of this agreement, not only will it be easier than ever to travel to the US, it will also help grow passenger numbers and help support jobs in Irish airports, as well as support important connectivity between Ireland and the US.”


Speaking today, Minister Ross said:


“Preclearance continues to be a huge success in Ireland and this is evidenced by the 1.9 million passengers who availed of the service last year. It’s a very valuable asset for Ireland, allowing people move more easily between Ireland and the USA; it is a testament to the long and unique relationship between the two countries.”


·       US Preclearance facilitates passengers of US bound flights to clear all US controls before leaving Ireland. Dublin and Shannon are currently the only preclearance locations in Europe. The securing of preclearance facilities in Ireland has significantly contributed to the success of Dublin and Shannon airports, where in 2018 1.9 million passengers availed of preclearance services. In addition, Shannon Airport remains the only European airport with preclearance services for private aircraft.


·       Given the scale of the Ireland-US trade relationship, preclearance is also a significant trade and business facilitator for the country as a whole.  It promotes the easy movement of people between Ireland and the United States, promoting reciprocal tourism and improving the economic, social, cultural and educational links. Connectivity to the US will be an important advantage for Ireland in the context of attracting post-Brexit investment and, more broadly, the expansion of Ireland’s international air linkages, which is a goal of Ireland’s over-arching Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy.


·       The entry into force of the Amended Agreement today will allow for additional and enhanced Preclearance services in Irish airports including the potential for additional staff numbers. US authorities will continue to fund a baseline level of service.


·       A number of other issues, including merchandise compliance agreements, the designation of preclearance areas and new signage to be placed in preclearance areas are also provided for in the amended Agreement. 


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