EU Exit – Fisheries Update


Defra has revised the fisheries technical notice to provide more clarity to help businesses prepare for a possible No Deal scenario.

The UK Government has also developed a tool to help businesses to review what they may need to do to prepare for the UK leaving the EU.  The tool brings together the technical notices from across government and sets out what’s changing in your industry and information on specific rules and regulations.

Updated fisheries technical notice

The technical notice sets out the impacts that a no deal EU Exit would have on the fishing industry and the actions that fishermen and the wider fishing and seafood sector may need to take before or after the 29 March 2019 exit date.  It includes information on the full range of issues that could impact on the fishing sector, such as access to water, control and enforcement, access to ports, exports and imports of fish and fishery products and funding. There will be wider implications that businesses will need to consider too, such as possible delays at ports, changes in trade routes, potential tariffs and non-tariffs.

Throughout January and February Defra will continue to engage with industry to help ensure that the sector is informed on the impacts of EU Exit and of the actions that it needs to take to prepare for a possible no-deal scenario.  Businesses are encouraged to consider the information available and to take steps to ensure they are prepared.

Exporting to the EU – Catch Certificates

In the event of a no deal, most fish and fish products will require a catch certificate for import or export between the UK and EU.  You can find more detail on the requirements for exporting to the EU post-exit, and the new IT system being developed to process and issue catch certificates in the press notice that was published earlier this month.  This includes information on how to prepare.

Progress on NEAFC membership

The UK has submitted an application to join the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC). The application is now being considered by the Contracting Parties and, if accepted, the UK would become a member of NEAFC if we leave the EU without the Withdrawal Agreement being ratified and approved.

This step has been taken to seek to minimise any gap in our membership of NEAFC and to ensure stability and continuity for all concerned.

Fishers’ survey

To help shape future policy decisions, Defra would like to better understand the views and lives of fishermen from around the country. One way to do this is to carry out a regular survey of fishermen. Defra have set up 2 workshops (Bristol, 25 January and Edinburgh, 30 January) to scope out what this survey might include, how to carry out the survey and how to work with stakeholders to ensure it is of value.


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