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FTA Ireland takes Eircode battle to the EU

Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) has called on the European Commission to investigate the Irish government’s decision to press ahead with the introduction of Eirecode despite huge industry reservations.

FTAI has consistently objected to Eircode since details were released in May 2014 – and now it has referred the matter to the EU on the grounds that it breaches state aid rules.

FTA Ireland General Manager Neil McDonnell said: “We can’t allow Eirecode to be pushed through unchallenged because it is fundamentally flawed. There was no consultation, the system is not fit for purpose and, more importantly, we believe it breaches state aid rules.

“Eirecode will place a huge burden of cost on users without delivering an effective postcode system. It is simply lining the pockets of the state post office and we are calling on the EU to investigate.”

Many FTAI members say they won’t use the planned seven-character code for their businesses because it is unworkable, choosing instead to use the three-character routing key at the start of each Eirecode to group deliveries into small areas.

Neil McDonnell said: “Eirecode is not a postcode, it is a postal identifier for databases. Its number and letter sequences don’t run in order so neighbouring properties could have completely unrelated codes. They might as well use electricity meter numbers, it’s that random.

“Eirecode will be worthless to the freight, parcel, passenger, energy, agriculture, or tourism sectors, or anyone else who requires a simple, logical, structured system for locating and navigating delivery points.”

FTAI is urging the Minister for Communications, Alex White, to acknowledge the critical failings of the system and put it on hold until a more effective scheme can be delivered, based on the recommendations of the Postcodes Board in 2006.

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