Thursday, 3 October 2019

Fishing industry - Defra Brexit latest.

Defra have followed up their national tour of major fishimng areas with a response document reporting back on a wide range of Brexit questions that were asked of them.

Defra's latest Marine and Fisheries update below.

As part of the UK Government’s commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it, an independent review of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) - which represent the upper end of environmental protection - was publicly announced on on the 8 June.

The review, led by ex-fisheries Minister Richard Benyon MP, has been asked to recommend whether and how HPMAs could be introduced within English inshore and offshore waters and Northern Irish offshore waters and, if supported by the evidence, recommend potential locations for pilot sites.

A four-week call for evidence launches today inviting communities, industry and stakeholders for their comments on introducing tougher measures to help stop the impacts of human activity from damaging the marine environment. Views are also sought on which areas could benefit most from these extra protections.

The call for evidence will remain open from 3 October until the 31 October and can be found on

We appreciate the pressures many of you are under in preparation for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, if you are concerned that you don’t have time to respond to this Call for Evidence, would encourage you to get in touch with the review Secretariat at to discuss.

Agreement signed with Norway

On Monday 30 September the UK and Norwegian governments signed an agreement to ensure UK fishermen can continue to access and catch fish in Norwegian waters after the UK leaves the EU on 31 October.

Currently the UK fleet fishes in Norwegian waters under an agreement between the EU and Norway. When the UK leaves the EU and becomes an independent coastal state this current agreement will cease. The new agreement ensures that the existing arrangements between the two countries will remain in place until the end of 2019. Read more at GOV.UK.

Single Issuing Authority

A new licensing authority has been set up jointly by England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Fisheries Authorities (UKFAs) to ensure UK fishermen have the correct licences to fish legally in Norwegian, Faroese and EU seas after Brexit, in line with any negotiated agreements.

The Single Issuing Authority (SIA) will also issue licences to non-UK vessels to fish in UK waters, if access agreements are negotiated, and provided the vessels can demonstrate compliance with UK requirements. Read more at: GOV.UK

Step-by-step guide to exporting fish and fishery products after Brexit

After Brexit you will need to follow new steps and processes to export wild-caught marine fishery products. We have developed 2 new, easy-to-follow process maps to walk you through the changes you need to make to continue trading with the EU. They are:
Exporting marine-caught seafood products
Direct landings into EU ports from a UK-registered vessel
For more information on exporting fish, visit:

Risk-based approach for EHC inspections

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has issued technical guidance to local government Certifying Officers for a new risk-based approach for Export Health Certificate (EHC) inspections for fish. This will help reduce the amount of time involved per EHC application for fish exports.

Food labelling in a No-deal

Several food and drink labelling changes are required as the UK leaves the EU. 

These include:

For exports to the EU27 the address of the responsible Food Business Operator (FBO) appearing on the label must be based in the EU27. Alternatively, the address of the importer in the EU27 may be given.
Country of origin. It will no longer be correct to describe UK produced goods as being of EU origin.

The EU and other non-EU countries may require changes to be in place from EU exit for access to their markets. In these instances, the UK can only recommend that labels are replaced or over-stickered as required to ensure they are fully accurate. This would include ensuring correct country of origin labelling and FBO addresses.

Dual labelling is allowed in some situations, such as the FBO name and address. Over labelling is also permissible providing you don’t obstruct other information that has to be displayed on the label. However, it will be for the EU to decide if dual and over labelling is acceptable on products exported to the EU.

The European Commission recently published a notice to stakeholders, the ‘Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU Food Law and EU rules on Quality Schemes’, which outlines their position in relation to many aspects of food law.

Deadline extended: Grant scheme for business readiness activities

Due to the high interest in the fund, the closing date for the grant scheme for trade organisations to run business readiness activities has been extended to Monday 7 October 2019 for submitting bids to the fund. The size of the fund has also been raised to £15m.

As before, if you are interested to learn the outcome of a bid on which you have commented through the application process, you can email for an indication as to whether it has been successful or unsuccessful.

Please note that the team are unable to disclose details on why applications have been accepted or rejected, nor can they share any information on applications which have not yet been assessed. Successful bids will still be subject to formal acceptance of grant letters by applicants.

Kind regards,
Joanna Higgins

Stakeholder Engagement and Briefing Hub
Marine and Fisheries