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EU- UK Trade Compliance as of 1 January 2021: Guidance for Industry

The UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020, is no longer an EU Member State and has now become a Third Country.

However, a transition period has come into force until 31 December 2020. During the transition period, EU rules and regulations will continue to apply to and in the UK and there will be no immediate changes for direct landings or import/export practices with the UK. 

As of 1 January 2021, the transition period allowing for the temporary participation of the UK in the EU Single Market and Customs Union will cease. New regulatory barriers and changes on EU-UK trade controls in both food safety and fisheries conservation (inc. anti-IUU fishing measures) will apply from 1 January 2021. Importers, exporters and vessel owners should be aware of potential developments in this area, and of the specific implications for your business.

Even if the EU and the UK conclude a highly ambitious partnership covering all areas agreed in the Political Declaration by the end of 2020, the UK's withdrawal from the EU acquis, the internal market and the Customs Union, at the end of the transition period will inevitably create barriers to trade and cross-border exchanges that do not exist today. There will be broad and far-reaching consequences for public administrations, businesses and citizens as of 1 January 2021, regardless of the outcome of negotiations. These changes are unavoidable and stakeholders must make sure they are ready for them.

As part of a series of measures that the Government have been taking, both nationally and in conjunction with the EU, the SFPA have developed the guidance provided below. This information sets out the anticipated 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 September 2020 and is solely derived from existing EU legislation for Third Countries in addition to guidance published in EU Preparedness Notices and UK Policy Briefs:

Contact us

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 

SFPA Guidance for the sea-fisheries and seafood production sectors

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 the transition period, 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 transition period comes to an end, 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.

 

1. Import Consignments from GB through Irish Border Control Posts

1. Requirements for import consignments of fish and fishery products from GB through Irish Border Control Posts


As of 1 January 2021, the introduction of all animal products (including fish and fishery products) from GB 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 entry procedure as of 1 January 2021

  • Consignments must enter via a designated Irish Border Control Post (BCP) only.
  • The person responsible for the load being imported (the importer or a customs agent acting on their behalf) must give the Border Control Post (BCP) 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 arrival.
    • Failure to submit correct documentation within this timeline may result in significant delays in the consignment being processed through the BCP.
  • Pre-notification is given by the submission of Part 1 of the Common Health Entry Document (CHED) through the EU's online TRACES system accompanied by all supporting documentation associated with the consignment. 

Documentation required as of 1 January 2021

  • 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.

2. Export Consignments to GB via designated ports

2. Requirements for export consignments of fish and fishery products to GB via designated ports

As of 1 January 2021, all exports from the EU to GB will have to comply with new UK rules and standards and will be subject to any applicable regulatory compliance checks and controls on imports.

UK 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).

UK pre-notification and entry procedure as of 1 January 2021

  • Consignments must enter GB via a designated Border Control Post (BCP) only.
  • Pre-notification at least 24hrs (and up to 30 days) in advance of the arrival at a BCP is the legal responsibility of the GB-based importer (not the Irish/EU-based exporter) by the importer using IPAFFS.

Documentation required from 2021 (please note the different time-frames for certification requirements)

  • From 1 January 2021, in terms of anti illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, documentation, wild-caught fin-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.
    • Attestation of Catch Certificate exemption if relevant. Examples of fishery products which do not require Catch Certificates include farmed fish and farmed shellfish, freshwater fish or freshwater shellfish, fish fry or larvae, and some molluscs such as mussels, cockles, oysters and scallops.
    • 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.
  • From 1 April 2021, in terms of SPS documentation, fish and fish products exported directly from the EU to the GB will require Health Certificates.

3. Imports by Direct Landing by English, Scottish and Welsh registered vessels into designated Irish ports

3. Requirements for imports by direct landings by English, Scottish and Welsh registered vessels into designated Irish ports
 

Pre-notification and pre-authorisation procedure prior to landing as of 1 January 2021

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 required as of 1 January 2021

  • 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 Port State Control (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.

4. Exports by Direct Landings by Irish fishing vessels into designated ports in GB

4. Requirements for exports by direct landings by Irish fishing vessels into designated ports in GB

As of 1 January 2021,  Irish vessels wishing to land in GB will be subject to the rules applicable in the UK. The UK Government has indicated that direct landings from EU vessels will be permitted only in the following North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) designated ports in GB: Aberdeen; Falmouth; Fraserburgh; Grimsby; Hull; Immingham; Kinlochbervie; Lerwick; Lochinver; Peterhead; Plymouth; Scrabster; Ullapool. Please note, the list of IUU-designated ports has yet to be confirmed.

Pre-notification and pre-authorisation procedure prior to landing as of 1 January 2021

  • 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.
  • Irish and EU vessels fishing in the NEAFC Convention Area and landing into a UK port will need to complete a Port State Control 1 (PSC1) form. This form is submitted by the vessel Master to the Flag State (Irish FMC) and is subsequently forwarded to the Port State (UK FMC) for authorisation.  Vessels cannot land, tranship or use other port services until authorisation has been given.The PSC form is submitted in electronic format and vessel Masters will need to set up an account on the NEAFC website https://psc.neafc.org/welcome in order to submit the PSC form.

Documentation required as of 1 January 2021

  • 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.
  • 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.

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

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

As of 1 January 2021, the movement of agri-food goods including fish and fishery products, from one Member State to another across the GB land-mass, 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 Health Entry Document (CHED) 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.

Frequently asked questions

  As a haulier/ transporter, what can I do to assist in the smooth flow of goods in terms of imports and exports from and to GB?

  • Register with DAFM and have access to TRACES NT
  • Register with Revenue and have an EORI number
  • Failure to submit correct documentation within the minimum 24-hour timeline may result in significant delays in the consignment being processed through the Border Control Posts. It is therefore essential to adhere to the pre-notification requirements and have the documentation (i.e. Health Certificate, Catch Certificate/ and Processing Statement or Storage Document if applicable) in hand in order to mitigate delays.

 

What requirements will have to be met by Scottish vessels to continue to land catches of blue whiting in Killybegs from 2021?

 Killybegs is a designated port for direct landings of fresh fish (not frozen) by Third Country vessels (i.e. GB registered vessels from 1 Jan 2021) and a NEAFC designated port. Currently, Ireland does not have a BCP facility for landings of frozen fish. The specific requirements and documentation for direct landings of fresh fish are available here.

 

Will Irish vessels be able to continue landing into any GB port from January 2021?

No, this will change as of 1 January 2021, Irish vessels wishing to land in GB will be subject to new rules. The UK Government has indicated that direct landings from EU vessels will be permitted only in the following North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) designated ports in GB: Aberdeen; Falmouth; Fraserburgh; Grimsby; Hull; Immingham; Kinlochbervie; Lerwick; Lochinver; Peterhead; Plymouth; Scrabster; Ullapool. Please note, the list of IUU-designated ports has yet to be confirmed.

 

What documentation will Irish vessels need to land into a port in GB from January 2021?

Direct landings of fish into GB by Irish and EU vessels after the Transition Period will be classed as a form of export to a Third Country and will require a Catch Certificate. In addition, Irish and EU vessels fishing in the NEAFC Convention Area will need to complete a Port State Control 1 (PSC1) form. This form is submitted by the vessel Master to the Flag State (Irish FMC) and is subsequently forwarded to the Port State (UK FMC) for authorisation.  Vessels cannot land, tranship or use other port services until authorisation has been given.

The PSC form is submitted in electronic format and vessel Masters will need to set up an account on the NEAFC website https://psc.neafc.org/welcome in order to submit the PSC form. a Port State Control (PSC1) form will also be required if North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) regulated resources are being landed.

 

How do I register my business to continue trading with the UK from January 2021?

  1. DAFM: If you want to continue importing or exporting fish or fishery products after the transition period, 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.  You can register for access by downloading and completing the application forms here and emailing them to BrexitRegistration@agriculture.gov.ie
  2. Revenue and Customs: In addition, customs formalities will commence for all existing and new traders with GB.  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 an EORI number should be completed as soon as possible here.

 

What documentation will I need to import fish from GB from January 2021?

Consignments of wild-caught finfish will require a Catch Certificate from 1 January 2021, in addition to a Health Certificate signed on behalf of the Competent Authorities in GB.

 

What is the notification period for importing from GB after the end of the Transition Period?

Notification periods for imports of fish or fishery products into Ireland from GB from 1 January 2021 is at least 24 hours in advance of the consignment’s arrival at the Border Control Post (i.e. Dublin Port or Rosslare Europort)

 

What documentation will I need to export fish to GB from January 2021?

From 1 January 2021, consignments of wild-caught marine fishery products will require a Catch Certificate validated by the SFPA. In addition, from 1 April 2021, a Health Certificate will be required.

 

What is the notification period for exporting from Ireland to GB after the end of the Transition Period?

Pre-notification must be submitted at least 24 hours (and up to 30 days) in advance of arrival and is the responsibility of the GB-based importer.

 

What is a Catch Cert, where do we obtain one and how long will it take to issue one for each consignment when exporting to the GB

A Catch Cert certifies that wild-caught marine fishery products were caught in compliance with national and international fishing regulations. In line with illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) regulations, any import of fish or fishery products from a Third country (i.e. a non-EU Member State) must be accompanied by a Catch Cert validated by the Competent Authority (i.e. the SFPA). In addition, from 1 January 2021, exports from the EU to GB will require a Catch Cert

  • In order to obtain a Catch Cert, you will have to complete the relevant sections of the application and obtain validation from the SFPA; (i) Details about the catching vessel(s), (ii) Amount of fish by species and weight, (iii) Presentation and state, such as whole or filleted, fresh or frozen, (iv) Commodity code.
  • Guidance on how to complete a Catch Cert application can be accessed here.
  • In terms of a timeframe for Catch Certs, each case will vary significantly. Timescales for validation processing and cross checks of catch certificate applications will depend on many factors; including the volume of applications received, staff resources available and the quality of the information provided in the original application that would facilitate validation.  As a general principle the more detail provided in the original application and the greater the notice of export application request given by the exporter, the more time effectively it may be dealt with by SFPA.

 

What fishery products are exempt from Catch Certs?

A list of fish and fishery products exempt from the Catch Certification Scheme can be accessed here: Annex 1 COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 202/2011.

Please note, fishery products which are exempt from the Catch Certification Scheme will require attestation of this status also routed via the SFPA (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).

  

 

Links to EU Readiness Notices

Links to UK Policy Briefs

SFPA Guidance Leaflet: Brexit and Trade Guidance

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.

The information in the Brexit and Trade Compliance: Guidance for Industry leaflet was published in November 2019 and reflected the regulatory context at that time. The most up-to-date guidance can be accessed in the tabs above.