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Brexit and Trade Compliance: Guidance for Industry

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.

Download the SFPA leaflet: Brexit and Trade Compliance: Guidance for Industry 

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

Reciprocal access 

A legal framework is in place that allows the authorisation of EU and UK vessels to continue to fish in each other’s waters until 31 December 2019.  The European Commission has put forward a proposal to extend this framework to 31 December 2020, if a Withdrawal Agreement is not in place.  This proposal is currently being progressed through the EU legislative process with the aim of being in place by year end.  This framework would come into play in the event of a “no deal”, on condition that EU vessels are granted reciprocal access to UK waters.

This does not provide a commitment of ongoing reciprocal access – it simply creates the necessary legal framework to allow for the possibility of such access.

In the event that reciprocal access is maintained in the event of a “no deal” Brexit, the UK has advised that fishing vessels greater than or equal to 12m in overall length will require an IMO (International Maritime Organisation) number in order to fish in UK waters.  DAFM has written to owners of registered vessels ≥ 12m who do not have an IMO number to advise them of this requirement.

You can register on the IMO website at https://imonumbers.ihs.com/, complete the IMO registration application form online or download the IMO registration application form and send it to ship.imo@ihs.com.  IMO registration is free.  When you have received your IMO number, you should email it without delay to the DAFM Licensing Authority at: LicensingAuthority@agriculture.gov.ie and mark the email as URGENT. If you do not have access to email, the Licensing Authority can be contacted by telephone at 023-8859500 (ask for Licensing Authority).

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 November 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 https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/brexit/preparingforbrexit/registration/ 

and emailing the forms to BrexitRegistration@agriculture.gov.ie

 

*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.

 

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 person responsible 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: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/brexit/preparingforbrexit/registration/ 
  • A Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) must be completed and submitted via TRACES in advance of the consignment’s re-entry into the EU. 
  • Consignments must be moved in accordance with Customs transit procedure.
  • Ensuring that documentation is in order prior to arrival of the goods can help mitigate the risk of delays.

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 procedure
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. 

Documentation

  • 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.
  •  Under existing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing 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.
    • Exemptions: 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 procedure

  • 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 SM-Defra-GBImports@apha.gov.uk

Documentation 

  • 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.  
  • Anti illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, documentation- Wild-caught fish will require a Catch Certificate 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.
  • 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.

Imports by Direct Landing

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

Pre-notification and pre-authorisation procedure

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 Irish authorities 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.

Documentation

  • 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 Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) and sent to the Irish FMC for processing by the Irish authorities.
  • 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 fishing vessels (including Irish 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 have yet to be confirmed. Once this information becomes available, we will publish it here.

Pre-notification and pre-authorisation procedure

  • 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.

Documentation

  • 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 and will require a Catch Certificate, validated by the SFPA.
  • If the vessel is landing those North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) resources that are subject to regulatory controls, the submission will require a PSC1 form to be completed by the Irish FMC and sent to the UK FMC.
  • 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.