IN THIS SECTION

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.

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 November 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 or the Frequently Asked Questions, please contact us via:

Email: sfpabrexit@sfpa.ie 

SFPA Guidance for the sea-fisheries and seafood production sectors

Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) control inspections at EU/Third Country borders

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)

Once off registration requirements

 

 

The Department's online registration portal here provides a quick and easy way to register to import or export.

For any queries on completing the registration process, contact  BrexitRegistration@agriculture.gov.ie

 

Current clients of the Department, who intend to continue trading with the UK from 1 January 2021, should update their registration by clicking on the online registration portal to indicate whether they are importers (the operator responsible for the consignment) and/or exporters.

 

 

 

 

Register with Customs

Once off registration requirements

From 1 Jan 2021, 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 this number should be completed as soon as possible here.

In addition to the SPS and IUU requirements detailed in the tabs below, additional Customs import procedures exist for every consignment of fishery products. Importers and exporters should familiarise themselves with these requirements on the Planning for Brexit section on Revenue.ie.

 

Export Certificate System (ECS) - Guidance for Industry

The Export Certificate System (ECS) is used by the applicant to acquire Irish Catch Certificates and Irish Processing Statement/Annex IV's for exports to the UK only. Exports for consignments to other  Non-EU countries will be conducted as per existing procedures.

 

For procedural review of Catch Certificates Application and Processing Statement Application, please see the following guidance documents:

 

ECS Guidance for Industry - Catch Certificate Application

ECS Guidance for Industry - Processing Statement Application

 

If you have any Brexit queries that are not addressed by the information in this ECS guidance, please contact us via email: sfpabrexit@sfpa.ie or phone Brexit Office +353 (023) 885 9300

1. Import Consignments from GB through Irish Border Control Posts

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

As of 1 January 2021, the introduction of all animal products (including fishery products) from the UK into the EU will be subject to EU-Entry requirements and controls at the point of entry into the EU. For fishery products, these include Sanitary Food Safety (i.e sanitary and phytosanitary/ SPS) rules, and for wild-caught fish these also include anti-Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated fishing (IUU) requirements. 

 

If you are an importer of fishery products from GB, you are required to comply with the import conditions for Third Countries as laid down in EU legislation. Obligations include once-off requirements where you need to register to use various systems (detailed in the above tabs- Registration with DAFM; Customs); and ongoing submission requirements for each consignment.

 

SPS and IUU requirements for every consignment

 

Pre-notification and entry procedure as of 1 January 2021

  • Consignments of fishery products 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

  • Under existing anti-illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing regulations, consignments of wild caught fishery products will require a Catch Certificate submitted as part of pre-notification which has to be verified by the SFPA through a series of cross-checks.
    • Attestation of Catch Certificate exemption if relevant: 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. 
    • Additional anti-IUU documentation (if applicable): If the wild-caught  fishery products you’re importing have been stored or processed, in a country other than the flag state  processing statement filled in by the processor and/or storage documents from the exporter.
  • 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.

 

Additional Customs import procedures exist for every consignment of fishery products. Importers should familiarise themselves with these requirements on the Planning for Brexit section on Revenue.ie.

2. Export Consignments to GB via designated ports

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

 

As of 1 January 2021, all exports of animal products including fish from the EU to the UK will have to comply with new UK rules and standards and will be subject to any applicable regulatory compliance checks and controls on imports. For fishery products, these include Sanitary Food Safety rules (i.e sanitary and phytosanitary/ SPS) and for wild-caught fish, these also include anti-Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing requirements.  

Obligations for Irish exporters include: once-off requirements where you need to register to use various systems (detailed in the above tabs- Register with DAFM; Customs); and ongoing submission requirements for each consignment. The UK authorities are implementing a staggered approach to introduce new border controls in three stages up until 1 July 2021.  Whilst Health Certificates are required from 1 April 2021 for imports of fishery products , they will not be subject to entry procedures or new SPS controls at the GB border until July 2021. Catch certificates and other IUU documents (e.g. processing statements and storage documents) will, however, be subject to checks from January 2021. Exporters should be aware of these different timeframes for the new requirements as detailed below. .

 

SPS and IUU requirements for every consignment

UK entry and import pre-notification procedure

  • From 1 January 2021, consignments can continue to arrive via any port and physical checks will be conducted on consignments at the point of destination until 1 July 2021.
  • From 1 April 2021, Pre-notification will be required at least 24hrs (and up to 30 days) in advance of the arrival in GB. This the legal responsibility of the GB-based importer (not the Irish/EU-based exporter).
  • From 1 July 2021, consignments must enter GB via a designated Border Control Post (BCP) only. Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks for consignments of fish and fishery products will take place at GB Border Control Posts.

 

Documentation 

  • From 1 January 2021, in terms of anti- IUU fishing, wild-caught fish will require a Catch Certificate and other commercial and supporting documents (e.g. storage documents and processing statements if applicable).The responsibility for obtaining a Catch Certificate is one of the UK importer, however, obtaining a Catch Certificate is likely to fall on the Irish exporter. 
  • 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.
  • Additional documentation: If the fish and fishery products have been stored or processed, the importer may also need a processing statement filled in by the processor and/or storage documents.
  • From 1 April 2021, in terms of SPS controls, the UK authorities will require Health Certificates for all fishery products. Whilst nominally the responsibility is that of the GB importer, the responsibility is likely to fall to the Irish exporter. Exporters should contact their local SFPA port office to obtain a Health Certificate. 

 

Additional Customs import procedures exist for every consignment of fishery products. Exporters should familiarise themselves with these requirements on the Planning for Brexit section on Revenue.ie.

 

Further information published by the UK Government can be accessed from the UK Border Operating Model (published 8 October 2020) and Import fish from the EU from 1 January 2021 (published 29 September 2020).

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
 

As of 1 January 2021, direct landings of English, Scottish and Welsh (i.e. GB) registered fishing vessels will be subject to new fisheries and food safety controls reflecting the UK’s new status as a Third Country.

Pre-notification and pre-authorisation procedure 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 GB registered fishing vessels will need to be:

  • Pre-notified at least 4 hours before the intended landing of *fresh fish;
  • 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.

* Ireland does not currently have a Border Control Post to facilitate the landing of frozen fish by Third Countries.

Documentation as of 1 January 2021

In terms of IUU documentation to fulfil the new pre-notification and pre-authorisation requirements, the following documents must be submitted by the master of the GB registered fishing vessel (or representative) to the UK Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) for onward transmission to the Irish authorities :

  • Prior-Notification Form;
  • Pre-Landing Declaration;
  • Catch Certificate issued by the UK Authorities which will be subject to verification by the SFPA.

At least 5% of all landings by GB registered 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 addition, 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 for processing by the Irish authorities.

  • 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.

In terms of SPS documentation, from 1 January 2021, 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, 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. 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 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 UK has not yet published a list of IUU designated ports.

Pre-notification and pre-authorisation procedure 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 Irish and EU fishing vessels will need to be:

  • Pre-notified at least 4hrs (for fresh fish) or 72hrs (for frozen fish) before the intended landing,
  • Pre-authorised by the UK authorities prior to their arrival,
  • If authorised, land into designated GB ports for landings by non-UK vessels.

Documentation as of 1 January 2021

In terms of IUU documentation to fulfil the pre-notification and pre-authorisation requirements, the following documents must be submitted by the master of the Irish fishing vessel (or representative) to the Irish Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) for onward transmission to the UK Authorities:

  • Prior-Notification Form;
  • Pre-Landing Declaration;
  • Catch Certificate validated by the SFPA which will be subject to fisheries control checks by the UK Authorities.

In addition, if the vessel is landing NEAFC regulated resources, the submission will also require a NEAFC PSC1 form to be completed by the Irish (FMC) and sent to the UK FMC for processing by the UK authorities.

  • 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.

In terms of SPS documentation, from 1 January 2021, there is no immediate requirement for attestation; however, vessel owners should be aware that future potential exists for this requirement.

 

5. UK Landbridge: Intra-EU movement of consignments through GB 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 intra-EU 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. Ensuring that documentation is in order prior to arrival of the goods can help mitigate the risk of delays.

Until the end of the current transition period on 31 December 2020, the UK Landbridge will function as it did when the UK was a member of the EU. Post-transition, operators will still be able to move goods between Ireland and other EU countries by road through Great Britain but the way in which this is done will change.

This is an evolving regulatory environment and it is advisable to check with this section on a periodic basis to ascertain any amendments or updates on the UK landbridge requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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

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 BrexitRegistration@agriculture.gov.ie

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.

 

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 Scottish vessels have to meet to continue to land catches int 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.

 

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 exit from EU status as a Third Country as from 1 January 2021.

The information in the Brexit and Trade Compliance: Guidance for Industry leaflet will be  published in the November 2020 to reflected further clarity on the regulatory changes in context of UK as Third Country.

An updated version of this leaflet will be published in the November 2020, in the interim, the most up-to-date guidance can be accessed in the tabs above.