The accumulation of points for persistent serious infringements of the Common Fisheries Policy will lead to the suspension of a sea fishing boat licence for a period from 2 months to one year. In extreme cases persistent serious fisheries infringements could lead to the permanent withdrawal of a licence. The following sections of the EU regulations explain how points accumulate on the licence and the effect of this accumulation in terms of suspension and revocation
The EU regulations also provide for deletion of points after a period of three years if another serious infringement has not been committed in the interim.
In addition, licence holders may undertake a number of activities under Art. 133 of EU Regulation 404/2011 which may result in the deletion of two points from their licence provided the conditions under the regulations are met and the SFPA is satisfied that the activities have been carried out. Please contact us if you wish to undertake any of the activities under Art.133.
Suspension and permanent withdrawal of a fishing licence
“1. The accumulation of 18, 36, 54, 72 points by the holder of a fishing licence shall automatically trigger the first, second, third and fourth suspension of the fishing licence respectively for the relevant periods referred to in Article 92(3) of the Control Regulation.
2. The accumulation of 90 points by the holder of a fishing licence shall trigger automatically the permanent withdrawal of the fishing licence”.
“3. When the total number of points equals or exceeds a specified number of points, the fishing licence shall be automatically suspended for a period of at least two months. That period shall be four months if the fishing licence is suspended a second time, eight months if the fishing licence is suspended a third time and one year if the fishing licence is suspended a fourth time as a consequence of a licence holder being assigned the specified number of points. In case of the holder being assigned the specified number of points for a fifth time, the fishing licence shall be permanently withdrawn.
4. If the holder of a fishing licence does not commit, within three years from the date of the last serious infringement, another serious infringement, all points on the fishing licence shall be deleted”.
Deletion of points
“1. If a fishing licence has been suspended in accordance with Article 129 of this Regulation, the points on the basis of which the fishing licence has been suspended shall not be deleted. Any new points assigned to the holder of the fishing licence shall be added to existing points for the purpose of Article 129 of this Regulation.
2. For the application of Article 92(3) of the Control Regulation, if points have been deleted in accordance with Article 92(4) of the Control Regulation the holder of fishing licence shall be considered as if his fishing licence had not been suspended in accordance with Article 129 of this Regulation.
3. Two points shall be deleted provided that the total amount of points assigned to the holder of the fishing licence for the fishing vessel concerned exceeds two, if:
(a) the fishing vessel which has been used in committing the infringement for which points were assigned uses thereafter VMS or records and transmits thereafter fishing logbook, transhipment and landing declaration data electronically without being legally subject to these technologies; or
(b) the holder of the fishing licence volunteers after the assignation of points to take part in a scientific campaign for the improvement of the selectivity of the fishing gear; or
(c) the holder of the fishing licence is a member of a producer organisation and the holder of the fishing licence accepts a fishing plan adopted by the producer organisation in the year following the assignation of the points involving a reduction of 10% of the fishing opportunities for the holder of the fishing licence; or
(d) the holder of the fishing licence joins a fishery covered by an eco-labelling scheme that is designed to certify and promote labels for products from well-managed marine capture fisheries and focus on issues related to the sustainable use of fisheries resources.
For each 3-year period since the date of the last serious infringement, the holder of a fishing licence can avail himself of one of the options under (a), (b), (c) or (d), to reduce the amount of points assigned only once, and provided that such reduction does not lead to the deletion of all points on the fishing licence.
4. If the points were deleted in accordance with paragraph 3 the holder of the fishing licence shall be informed of that deletion. The holder of the fishing licence shall also be informed of the number of points that still remain.”