A Special Development Order (SDO) has been laid in the Scottish Parliament - a statutory instrument which will help ensure that planning permission is in place for this vital infrastructure.
Because of the terms of the Brexit deal some goods entering the UK from the EU are now subject to the same border entry requirement and controls as goods from the rest of the world, with further controls on imports from the EU being introduced in phases this year.
As a result, Border Control Posts (BCPs), at which imported goods are subjected to physical inspections, are being established across the UK.
The Cairnryan BCP will be used to inspect goods arriving in Scotland from the Republic of Ireland and the wider EU via Northern Ireland, and the UK Government require that it is established in the second half of 2021.
Checks on animals, fish, plants, food and feed are required to ensure products entering the market do not present a risk to public health, and these checks are the responsibility of Scottish Ministers.
Once an appropriate site has been selected, a site-specific planning consent will have to be obtained before construction can get underway, and the SDO requires engagement to be carried out with various parties before this approval can be sought.
Cabinet Secretary Michael Russell said: “This move is a direct consequence of a Brexit that people in Scotland overwhelmingly rejected. In these circumstances it is a practical, common sense and timely action to provides additional planning certainty while detailed proposals are developed and a site for this post is selected.
“Time is of the essence. I have twice written to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to press for a decision on the need for this post, but it was only in January that the UK Government confirmed checks would be required on non-qualifying Northern Ireland Goods at Cairnryan.
“We are also still waiting to hear whether HMRC would like to use the site for their responsibilities. But by laying this SDO, the Scottish Government is preparing to move as speedily and effectively as it can.”