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Thursday, 10 January 2019

Brexit no deal? Fishing industry encouraged to get ready for EU catch certificates

Fishing industry encouraged to get ready for EU catch certificates in the event of a no deal.  Advice on preparing for the introduction of catch certificates part of contingency planning.





The fishing industry is being encouraged to start preparing their businesses for EU Exit to ensure they can continue to import and export fish and fish products, once the UK leaves the EU.

Delivering the deal negotiated with the EU remains the Government’s top priority. This has not changed. However, the Government must prepare for every eventuality, including a no deal scenario.

From 29 March 2019, 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. This also applies to fishermen who land fish directly into EU ports.

Catch certificates prove that fish has been caught in line with established conservation and management measures. All non-EU countries are required to present catch certificates when trading with the EU.

Under the requirements, on leaving the EU:


  • UK exporters will be required to obtain a validated catch certificate to accompany their exports of most fish or fish products into the EU (excluding some aquaculture products, freshwater fish, some molluscs, fish fry or larvae)
  • Importers will have to submit an import catch certificate to the Port Health Authorities or relevant fisheries authority to be checked before the estimated arrival time into the UK;
  • Exporters may also need to obtain supporting documents if the fish has been processed or stored in a country that’s not the flag state;
  • A new IT system to process and issue export catch certificates, and other supporting documentation, is being developed to help streamline the process. Exporters will receive full instructions on how to register and use the new system before we leave the EU. Import catch certificates will continue to be processed through the current paper-based system.


In addition to documents required under IUU regulations, businesses will also need to follow additional steps to comply with health and customs regulations, in the event of a ‘no deal’ EU Exit.

To plan ahead for creating a catch certificate, businesses and individuals that export fish products to the EU will need to know the:


  • species,
  • vessel that caught it,
  • date it was landed,
  • weight of the consignment.

Fishermen and fishing businesses can stay up to date with the latest advice on importing and exporting after EU Exit on GOV.UK.