How to Prepare if the UK Leaves the EU with No Deal: Fishing

Brexit“The commercial catching of fish and marketing of fish and seafood, including the farming of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants and algae (aquaculture), is regulated by the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) provides money, including industry grants, to member states for certain fisheries activities.”

When the UK leaves the EU it will no longer be in the Common Fisheries Policy. The UK Government has laid out in a White Paper how it will manage Fisheries – the White Paper does not cover the marketing of fish. The White Paper is covered fully here:  Seizing Opportunities: The UK Fisheries Bill

After Brexit UK registered vessels will no longer have an automatic right to land fish in any EU port.  UK vessels will have to ask permission in advance to access a port in an EU country. The vessel may be subject to a search and documents relating to what is on board will have to be presented.

The UK Government would like to join the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) after  leaving the EU.

North East Atlantic Fisheries Convention

Membership of the NEAFC comprises of the EU,

Faeroes, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia.

It maintains controls over fishing and fishing-related acts in the North East Atlantic Ocean.

After Brexit there will be a gap when the UK will still be in the CFP but not in NEAFC .

“The process of joining Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMO) and ratifying their conventions may take up to 6 months.”

“During this time, UK vessels may not be able to fish in international waters covered by RFMOs.”

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

Many coastal and island communities have benefited from the EU’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) The UK Government has guaranteed that projects approved before 31st December 2020 will be fully funded. It is not known if there will be a replacement to this important source of funding.

Selling  Fishery Products

UK Fishery products for sale will continue to use the same labelling as they did when an EU member.

Catch certificates will be required for UK fish products being exported to the EU. This will need to be verified by the UK fisheries authority where the vessel is licensed before being submitted to the competent authority in the EU. Products being imported from the EU into the UK will also require to submit the relevant documentation.

The UK Government is still developing the IT system which will have to cope with the increased demand it expects for administration. There will  be an additional financial cost resulting from this, not yet specified.

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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