A border inspection post – which Islanders will need to use if they wish to continue taking some animals, including horses, directly into Europe without having to go via the UK first – is currently being built in the city at a cost of over one million euros.
The news should also be a relief to some Jersey businesses which, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, would be stopped from exporting their live shellfish into Europe through the port and instead have to ship via the UK or ports in Normandy, around 150 miles away. About 250 tonnes of lobsters, crab and scallops are sent through the port from Jersey each year.
A spokesman for the States said: ‘We have received confirmation that St Malo will be ready to operate as a border inspection post on day one post-Brexit and will allow importation of all animals except for cattle.
‘In the event of no deal, Granville is a designated port and a listed Schengen port which allows the direct landing of fish from a third-country boat and ferry flows of passengers.
‘In terms of indirect landing in Granville, landing of fish and shellfish, and those grown by aquaculture (eg oysters and mussels), requires a health check, which can only be undertaken by a BIP.’
Last year, both Jersey and Guernsey’s States vets warned that if a border inspection post was not installed in St Malo in the event of a no-deal Brexit, horse owners might have to take their animals via the UK and enter Europe through another French port – adding several hours to their journey.
But now, horses will be able to enter Europe directly from the Channel Islands. Sari Cuming, vice-present of the Jersey Riding Club, said that an increasing number of people were taking their animals to France.
‘It is really good news, because we have welfare predominantly in our minds and [in the event of a no-deal Brexit] if people had to travel beyond St Malo, this could have had a big impact on the amount of time the horses would need to travel,’ she said.
‘Also, France is a really good starting point for competitive show jumping and dressage and many people take their horses there for veterinarian diagnostics.
‘So that is really good news, as before there was talk of taking them through northern French ports, which would mean spending hours on the ferry to the UK first.’
According to St Malo port authorities, construction of a separate customs lane to process people from third countries – which Jersey will become post-Brexit – is also due to go ahead soon.