Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Comparative table: Export processes for fisheries products & Brexit options.

On the back of the government's defeat in the House tonight the prospect of no deal looms - there are indications that the consequences of such move may have huge implications for trade.

All forms of Brexit raise new barriers to trade for UK exporters. The table below summarises the differences between the options facing Brexit UK for the
export of fisheries. Note: additional controls apply for the export of live shellfish and different rules apply to the direct landing of fishery produce in EU ports.

Other aspects of trade are also subject to significant change as a result of Brexit, including insurance cover, haulage, labelling and packaging. These raise
barriers over and above those set out below.

In summary:

  • Current trading relations with the EU will change significantly. Frictionless trade within the EU is not possible for businesses located outside member states of the European Union.
  • In terms of future trade options, the only certainty that approval of the Withdrawal Agreement by the UK Parliament will bring is that the option of frictionless trade (EU membership) in the future will be off the table.
  • The avoidance of border infrastructure along the Irish Border can be avoided only if Northern Ireland remains within a customs union with the EU and aligns with Single Market rules for goods and services that are traded with Ireland. At the UK's request, to avoid a customs border in the Irish Sea if no new trade agreement has been reached between the EU and the UK, the backstop in the Withdrawal Agreement provides that a single customs territory will be established comprising the EU customs territory and the UK customs territory. However, fishery and aquaculture productsare expressly carved out of the customs territory unless there is an agreement on access to waters & fishing opportunities.

Sarah Adkins MA (Oxon) MA MCIWM CEnv Solicitor.