New measures are to be put in place along the Northern Ireland border to speed up customs controls.

A familiar site, long queues and short tempers on the road from Dundalk to Newry.


Lorries are brought to a standstill along the Northern Ireland border while drivers wait for customs clearance. However, from tomorrow the waiting time will be cut to a maximum of just thirty-six minutes with the introduction of a new computer system for traffic travelling from the Republic into Northern Ireland.  

Forms will no longer be filled in by hand and drivers will no longer have to ferry documents from office to office for the final stamp of approval.

The new initiative was announced by Border Clearing Agents Limited, who have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds installing it. 

Chairman of the Border Clearing Agents Limited Michael McCann explained that seventeen agents will be linked to a central computer on the UK mainland reducing the need for manual processing of paperwork. He also sees computers as the thing of the future in relation to customs clearance. 

The new system will take all information in through computer processors at a very high speed and therefore clearance times will be faster.

The new system will only apply to north-bound traffic. Principal Officer for Computer Development with Customs and Excise Dermot Gilroy outlines plans to resolve this.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 13 June 1988. The reporter is Joan Boyd.