A tightening of regulations at Dublin port is causing consternation in the timber industry.

Timber companies say the port wants to cut the amount of time allowed for the discharge of West African cargoes from 20 to five working days and softwood cargoes to be received from the ship’s rail.

The Irish Timber Trade Association (ITTA) is taking up cudgels on its members’ behalf, saying the new rules are unworkable.

Chairman Ronnie Guilford said: ‘We are not convinced that the port authorities want to see timber coming into Dublin. They are trying to move us to other ports.

‘We will fight on behalf of anyone wishing to use Dublin port because of its convenience. We want the facility and the port is obliged to provide it. We want to hold on to what we have got so members have the greatest degree of choice.’

The ITTA is waiting for a response from the port authority.

A spokesperson for Dublin port said: ‘Space is at a premium here and these measures were introduced to speed traffic through the port. We will review the situation in view of the comments that have been made and in the light of the experience of the ships handled.’