Brexit and Trade Compliance in a no deal scenario

A decision has been taken by the European Council (Article 50) in agreement with the UK to grant an additional extension until 31 January 2020 to the two-year period provided for by Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union. This extension allows for an earlier exit by the UK (30 November 2019 or 31 December 2019) if ratification of the current Withdrawal Agreement is completed quickly. Under this (orderly) scenario, a transition period would apply until the end of December 2020 when the UK would formally become a Third Country.

Irrespective of the final shape of Brexit, the decision of the UK to leave the EU will result in some changes, both here in Ireland and for our EU partners. While ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement is still the Government's primary focus, given the ongoing political uncertainty in the UK, preparations are continuing for all scenarios including a 'No Deal (disorderly) Brexit.

We are working to keep this website up-to-date. Check back regularly, as information will be updated as it becomes available. If you have any Brexit queries that are not addressed by the information below, please contact us via: 

Email:  or Phone : +353 (0) 23 885 9300 and ask to be put through to the Brexit Office.

Reciprocal access and fishing authorisations

As of 4 September 2019, the European Commission have adopted a proposal to extend until the end of 2020 the contingency Regulation EU 2019-498 on fishing authorisations, originally adopted in March 2019 until the end of 2019. This would maintain a simplified legal framework to allow the EU to continue to grant authorisations to UK vessels to enter EU waters and to manage authorisation requests by EU vessels entering UK waters, should the conditions on reciprocal access and sustainability be fulfilled. However, a UK response to this EU initiative has yet to be received.

Guidance for the sea-fisheries and seafood production sectors

As part of a series of measures that the Government have been taking, both nationally and in conjunction with the EU, the SFPA have updated their Brexit Trade Compliance guidance to prepare the sea-fisheries and seafood production sectors for a No Deal Brexit scenario. The guidance provided below sets out the consequences for regulatory trade controls for both seafood safety and sea-fisheries conservation. The content is based on the organisation’s current understanding of the necessary requirements as of October 2019 and is solely based on existing EU legislation and the information published in the following EU and UK Preparedness Notices:

Future regulatory implications

When the UK leaves the EU and becomes a Third Country, changes to the existing reciprocal EU-UK trade arrangements will be inevitable for import and export consignments of fish and fishery products; direct landings by Irish fishing vessels into UK ports; and UK fishing vessels into Irish ports. Importers, exporters and vessel owners should be aware of potential developments in this area, and of the specific implications for your business. Additional documentary and physical inspection-based verification of trade flows are anticipated reflecting the UK’s post-Brexit status as a Third Country. Information on the new requirements is outlined below in separate categories.

Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) control inspections

SPS control inspections are required at  EU/Third Country borders under EU law for the protection of animal health, plant health and food safety. Such controls (referred to as Official Controls) apply to imports of live animals, and animal products, which includes fish and fishery products, entering the Single Market and will have to be carried out on all agri-food products traded with the UK.

What SPS controls will apply to fish and fishery products?
Annex I to Commission Decision 2007/275/EC (as amended) outlines the full scope of fish and fishery products imported from Third Countries that require veterinary checks. Additional information applicable to all animal products published by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) can be found here:


Register with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM)

If you want to continue importing or exporting fish or fishery products from or to the UK after Brexit, the person responsible for the consignment* must register with DAFM’s Corporate Customer System (CCS) and the EU’s online system TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System) to comply with the appropriate SPS requirements for Third Country imports. 


If the person responsible for the load has not got access to these systems, they should register for access by downloading and completing the application forms here 

and emailing the forms to


*Please note, in most circumstances, ‘the person responsible for the consignment’ will be a customs agent working on behalf of the importer (as opposed to the importer him/herself).

Register with Customs

Once the UK exits the EU, customs formalities will commence for all existing and new traders with the UK.  As a result, such traders will be required to make customs declarations and will therefore need to register for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.  

Registration with Revenue for this number should be completed as soon as possible here.


Import Consignments

Requirements for import consignments of fish and fishery products from the UK through Irish Border Inspection Posts

After Brexit, the introduction of all animal products (including fish) from the UK into the EU will be subject to SPS and veterinary controls at the point of entry in to the EU. If you are an importer of fish and fishery products from the UK, you are required to comply with the import conditions as laid down in EU legislation.

Pre-notification and document submission:
The person responsible for the load being imported (the importer or a customs agent acting on their behalf) must give the Border Inspection Post (BIP) at the intended point of entry advance notification of the arrival of the consignment:

  • There is a required minimum pre-notification notice period of at least 24 hours' notice in advance of the consignment’s arrival. Failure to submit correct documentation within this timeline may result in significant delays in the consignment being processed through the BIP.
  • Pre-notification is given by the submission of Part 1 of the Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) through the online TRACES system accompanied by all supporting documentation associated with the consignment which should be submitted at this time as well:
    • Each consignment will need to be accompanied by a Health Certificate, drawn up in conformity with the model under EU law for the particular product, completed and signed on behalf of the Competent Authorities of the UK.
    • In terms of combatting, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, under existing regulations, wild caught fishery products will additionally require a Catch Certificate submitted as part of pre-notification which needs to be verified by the SFPA through a series of cross-checks.
      • Fishery product imports which do not require Catch Certificates (e.g. farmed fish and farmed shellfish, freshwater fish or freshwater shellfish, fish fry or larvae, and some molluscs including mussels, cockles, oysters and scallops) must have attestation of that status also routed via the SFPA.

Export Consignments

Requirements for export consignments of fish and fishery products to the UK via Border Inspection Posts

Once the UK leaves the EU, their access to the EU’s import system TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System) will no longer be possible for import notifications. The UK have developed a new system IPAFFS (Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System). The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is releasing IPAFFS in phases. Phase one has come online first for non-EU countries, the second phase for EU Member States will not be operational until 2020. 

Pre-notification requirements from Day 1:

The completion of an Importer Notification Form at least 24hrs (and up to 30 days) in advance of the arrival at a UK BIP is the legal responsibility of the UK-based importer. They will need to download, complete and send an IV66 form/ commercial document by email to the Imports Risk Management Team of the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Email

Documentation requirements:

In terms of SPS documentation, the UK has stated that fish and fish products exported directly from the EU to the UK will not require Health Certificates immediately from day-1, but will be necessary later in 2020.  

The UK have indicated that there will be documentary IUU checks at UK BIPs on Catch Certificates for products from wild-caught fish and other commercial and supporting documents (e.g. storage documents and processing statements if applicable) related to fish imports to the UK from the EU:

  • The responsibility for obtaining a Catch Certificate falls on the exporter and it will need to be validated by the SFPA. It should then be submitted to the UK Port Health Authorities in advance of the consignment’s arrival into the UK BIP and must include:
    • Details about the catching vessel(s),
    • Amount of fish by species and weight,
    • Presentation and state, such as whole or filleted, fresh or frozen,
    • Commodity code.
  • If the export consignment contains fish or fishery products sourced from another country that have been stored in Ireland, but not processed in any way, a storage document will be required.
  • If the export consignment contains fish sourced from another country and has been processed in Ireland, a Processing Statement will be required.

UK Landbridge: Movement of consignments from an EU Member State to another EU Member State through the UK in either direction

UK Landbridge: Movement of consignments from an EU Member State to another EU member State through the UK Landbridge in either direction 

From the date the UK exits the EU, the movement of agri-food goods including fish and fishery products, from one Member State to another across Great Britain, will be subject to Customs transit procedures. 

  • If you are the responsible person for moving fish and fishery products across the UK landbridge in either direction:
  • You must be registered with DAFM's Corporate Customer System (CCS) and the EU's online system TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System). 
  • if the person responsible for the consignment does not have access to these systems, they should register for access by downloading and completing the application forms from: 
  • A Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) must be completed and submitted via TRACES in advance of the consignment’s re-entry into the EU. 
  • Ensuring that documentation is in order prior to arrival of the goods can help mitigate the risk of delays.

Consignments must be moved in accordance with Customs transit procedure.

Imports by Direct Landing

Requirements for imports by direct landings by UK vessels into designated Irish ports

At present, UK vessels can land into any Irish port. However, post-Brexit, under existing anti-IUU fishing regulations and North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) requirements:

  • Direct landings of fresh fishery products by UK fishing vessels:
    • Will need to be pre-notified and pre-authorised by the SFPA prior to their arrival, and;
    • If authorised, land into the one of the two designated Irish ports for Third Country landings; Killybegs or Castletownbere only.
  • In terms of IUU documentation, direct landings will require a Catch Certificate issued by the UK Authorities at least four hours in advance of landing.
  • If the vessel is landing NEAFC regulated resources, the submission will also require a NEAFC PSC1 form to be completed by the UK FMC and sent to the Irish FMC.
  • As per the IUU regulations, at least 5% of all landings by UK fishing vessels will be met by the SFPA at time of landing.
    • A risk-based assessment of the vessel will be conducted which may be escalated to a full physical inspection if necessary
  • In terms of SPS documentation, from day-1, there is no immediate requirement for attestation; however, vessel owners should be aware that future potential exists for this requirement.

Exports by Direct Landings

Requirements for exports by direct landings by Irish fishing vessels into designated UK ports

In terms of designated ports for EU landings, as of the withdrawal date, EU vessels wishing to land in the UK will be subject to the rules applicable in the UK. The UK Government are currently reviewing the number and location of ports that will be designated to permit future landings from EU vessels. Details of these locations will be published here once the information becomes available.

For direct landings into the UK, EU including Irish fishing vessels will be required to provide the following documentation:

  • Master of Irish fishing vessel (or representative) will need to send a ‘Prior Notification Form’ to the Irish Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) for onward transmission to the UK Authorities, a minimum of 4hrs prior to landing for fresh fish and 72hrs for frozen fish.
  • Master of Irish fishing vessel (or representative) will need to send a ‘Pre Landing Declaration Form’, in addition to the Prior Notification Form; a minimum of 4hrs prior to landing. This will be sent to the Irish FMC for onward transmission to the UK Authorities.
  • Catch Certificates: Export of catches in terms of direct landings by Irish and EU vessels into the UK will be subject to fisheries control checks by the UK Authorities including the Catch Certificate Scheme.  Irish vessels landing catch into UK ports will therefore require a Catch Certificate, validated by the SFPA.
  • In terms of SPS documentation, from day-1, there is no immediate requirement for attestation; however, vessel owners should be aware that future potential exists for this requirement.