IN THIS SECTION

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

The UK formally left the EU on 31 December 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 has ceased. New regulatory barriers and changes on EU-UK trade controls in both food safety and fisheries conservation (inc. anti-IUU fishing measures) have been applied 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.

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 regulatory trade controls for both seafood safety and sea-fisheries conservation in accordance with the new trade agreement between the UK and the EU finalised on the 24th of December 2020.

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

Deferral of implementation dates relating to import controls on goods entering the UK

March 11 2021 UK Government has today advised that the proposed dates for the introduction of import SPS controls (April 1st, 2021) and physical checks at UK Border Control Posts (July 1st, 2021), have now been deferred to October 1st, 2021 and January 1st, 2022 respectively.

 

Full statement is available here https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2021-03-11/hcws841

 

Headlines per the statement are:

" •Pre-notification requirements for Products of Animal Origin (POAO), certain animal by-products (ABP), and High Risk Food Not Of Animal Origin (HRFNAO) will not be required until 1 October 2021. Export Health Certificate requirements for POAO and certain ABP will come into force on the same date.

•Customs import declarations will still be required, but the option to use the deferred declaration scheme, including submitting supplementary declarations up to six months after the goods have been imported, has been extended to 1 January 2022.

•Safety and Security Declarations for imports will not be required until 1 January 2022.

•Physical SPS checks for POAO, certain ABP, and HRFNAO will not be required until 1 January 2022. At that point they will take place at Border Control Posts.

•Physical SPS checks on high risk plants will take place at Border Control Posts, rather than at the place of destination as now, from 1 January 2022.

•Pre-notification requirements and documentary checks, including phyto-sanitary certificates will be required for low risk plants and plant products, and will be introduced from 1 January 2022.

•From March 2022, checks at Border Control Posts will take place on live animals and low risk plants and plant products.”

 

Wild Caught Shellfish Fisheries: Changes required following the departure of the UK from the EU

Wild Caught Shellfish Fisheries

Changes required following the departure of the UK from the EU

 

Between 01/01/2021 - 31/03/2021 
 

1.  Fishing in UK Waters

Fishing in UK waters from the 01st January 2021 requires a fishing Authorisation from the UK authorities.
This will be done in two lots, firstly the vessels authorised to fish 12 – 200mn limit followed by vessels authorised to fish between 6 – 12 nm limit within UK waters. Vessels fishing in the 0 – 6 nm waters off NI will also require a specific authorisation.
 

2.  Landing into the UK

Scallop, razor and whelk  are exempt from the UK IUU requirements, so these landings will not need a catch cert etc.
However wild caught shellfish (and all fish) are subject to NEAFC port state control requirements, therefore Master/Vessel representative are required to register with NEAFC PSC system. There may be a delay in processing these requests and vessels that are not registered on the system can not utilise UK ports until this has been completed.
The PSC form is submitted in electronic format 4 hours before landing fresh fish and 24 hours for frozen fish 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.
Further details on how to complete and submit the required PSC form can be found here: https://psc.neafc.org/psc-guides
Under existing 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, the full list is contained below.
Aberdeen; Ardglass; Bangor (County Down); Belfast; Brixham; Buckie; Campbeltown; Dundee; Eyemouth; Falmouth; Fraserburgh; Granemouth; Greenock; Grimsby; Harwich; Holyhead; Hull; Immingham; Invergordon; Kilkeel; Kinlochbervie; Leith; Lerwick; Lochinver; Londonderry; Lowestoft; Mallaig; Methil; Milford Haven; Newlyn; North Shields; Oban; Peterhead; Plymouth; Portavogie; Portsmouth; Scalloway; Scarborough; Scrabster; Shoreham; Stornoway; Swansea; Troon; Ullapool; Warrenpoint; Whitehaven;
Requirements notably include restriction to NEAFC-designated ports as outlined above and obligation to submit NEAFC PSC form, then await authorisation to land.
 
  1. a. Selling to a UK Processor
NEAFC process as outlined must be adhered to. Product is deemed to be import to the UK upon landing. Vessel master/operator need not take any further action
  1. b. Selling to an Irish Processor
To import whole live scallops into Ireland from UK following direct landing by IRL vessel they will need to be accompanied by a health certificate to enter the EU and enter at EU BCP notified on Traces by EU importer. 
That health cert however requires the scallop to be dispatched by an approved UK establishment typically a dispatch centre, essentially fit for Human consumption with UK Oval ID number.  Assuming the scallop do not meet the biotoxin requirements they can’t be certified. They could be shucked in UK to meet biotoxin requirements and exported to enter EU with the fishery product cert also in annex of 2019/628 or UK ref 8339. 
1. Irish Vessel Landing into NI & selling to an Irish Processor
From a NEAFC perspective there is no difference between landings of EU vessels to Northern Ireland Ports and any other UK port. Therefore Irish Fishing vessels landing to Northern Ireland ports  are subject to NEAFC PSC requirements and controls described in the previous section.
Thereafter its is treated as a landing into any EU MS port, so Art 60/61 weighing, and transport document etc.
From SPS/Health perspective this is the same as landing to EU MS port, so a gatherer’s Shellfish Registration document needs to be completed for every landing, and in the case of Scallops if going for shucking at an Irish approved establishment that SRD needs to denote ’not tested’ as per SFPA 2018 SFPA notice to trade on harvesting of scallop.
2. UK vessel landing into NI & selling to an Irish Processor
From fisheries control perspective a UK vessel either NI-registered or GB non-NI(Eng, Scot, Wales) landing to NI is exempt from NEAFC PSC requirements, technically subject to IUU but wild caught shellfish (scallop, whelk, razor etc) are exempt from EU IUU legislation. This will need to be clarified by UK Authorities.
There is a difference between NI-registered and GB-Registered in terms of SPS/Health obligations.
The NI vessel is exempt from any Third-Country SPS obligations, and treated as an EU vessel landing to NI, so Shellfish Registration documents and transport documents are required.
The GB-registered vessel is subject to EU SPS obligations for Third Country vessels, and therefore can only land fishery products not LBMs  from  1st January 2021. Therefore GB registered vessels can’t land shellfish into NI.
 
3. NI vessel landing wild caught shellfish into an Irish port & selling to an Irish Processor
From a NEAFC perspective NI vessels must land into a designated port and  are subject to NEAFC PSC requirements and controls described in Section 2. Thereafter it is treated as a landing into any EU MS landing, so Art 60/61 weighing, and transport document etc
NI vessels landing to Irish ports are exempt from any Third-Country SPS obligations, and treated from SPS perspective as an EU vessel landing to EU so Shellfish Registration documents, possibly indicating ‘not tested’ in Biotoxin status and transport documents are required.
 
4. To transport wild caught shellfish from North to South, following NI landing
There are no requirements any different from transport after landing to an EU port., primarily Shellfish Registration Document and Transport Document accompanying the consignment and in the case of Scallops, if going for shucking at an Irish approved establishment  that SRD needs to denote ‘not tested’ as per SFPA 2018 SFPA notice to trade on harvesting of scallop.
 
From 01/10/2021 onwards

UK have indicated that Live Bivalve Molluscs, including Scallop, and Whelks cannot be part of a direct landing by an EU vessel to a UK port, except those in NI. These masters will need to change away from GB ports entirely from April.
Instead LBMs and whelk, or products derived from bivalve molluscs can only enter UK from EU with a Health Certificate having been placed on the market from an approved EU establishment, e.g. following landing to a EU port.
Then, having landed to EU port after April it would be unlikely that UK biotoxin requirements would be certifiable by e.g. SFPA in whole/live scallop, and instead it would be an export of shucked scallop products to supply UK customers.
 

Third Country fishing vessels Entering or Discharging fish at Irish Ports - 01 Feb 2021

Please click here to see information regarding Third Country fishing vessels Entering or Discharging fish at Irish Ports.

Fishing Access from 31 December 2020 - UPDATED 12 JULY 2021

IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO IRISH  VESSELS FISHING IN THE UNITED KINGDOM EFZ AND UK VESSESLS FISHING IN IRISH EFZ.

**Important update 12 July 2021 on access to 0-6 zones**

Reciprocal fishing vessel access entitlements for EU and UK registered fishing vessels to respective UK and EU 0-6 NM zones have issued:

  • An amalgamated list of UK vessels with access to EU waters is published here, which for some vessels includes Irish 0-6 NM zone access;
  • An amalgamated list of EU vessels with access to UK waters is published here, which for some vessels includes access to Northern Ireland 0-6 NM zone.

These updated access arrangements do not change vessels’ existing landing requirements. Accordingly, UK registered vessels wishing to land in Ireland are restricted to those Irish ports with appropriate IUU and NEAFC Third Country designations.  Irish registered vessels will have similar IUU and NEAFC obligations when landing in ports in Great Britain and NEAFC-only obligations when choosing to land in Northern Ireland ports.

 

Respective authorisation queries for Irish and UK registered fishing vessels, including those registered in Northern Ireland, should be directed separately as appropriate to DAFM inshore@agriculture.gov.ie and UK SIA.

 

**Please note updates of 08 and 15 Jan 2021 below **

From 23:00 GMT 31 December 2020, with the end of the transition period for UK Departure from the EU, both UK vessels and UK EFZ cease to be part of the EU. Reciprocal fishing activity can only take place on the basis of authorisations issued under the terms of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement.

Accordingly, the only Irish vessels which may fish within the UK EFZ from 23:00 on 31 December 2020, are those which possess a specific authorisation to do so.

These authorisations are issued by DAFM and not by SFPA. Any Irish vessel currently fishing in UK EFZ, which has not received such an authorisation, either through its PO or from DAFM, should cease fishing activity in that area. In cases where it is thought that a fishing vessel has been omitted from the list in error the relevant PO or DAFM Quota management should be contacted.

If an Irish vessel, has set passive gear in UK EFZ and is  without authorisation it should withdraw from the area, and not return to work with nor retrieve the gear until the necessary UK-access authorisation is secured.

Similarly, the only UK vessels which may continue or begin to fish within the Irish EFZ, are those which possess a specific authorisation to do so, issued by UK Fishery Authorities. Any UK vessel currently fishing in Irish  EFZ, which has not received such an authorisation, should cease fishing activity in that area. If a UK vessel, has set passive gear in Irish  EFZ and is without authorisation, it should withdraw from the area, and not return to work with nor retrieve the gear until necessary EU-access authorisation is secured.

For whatever reason, where a vessel does not have an authorisation to fish in a Third Country EFZ (for Irish vessels this includes UK waters), it cannot fish there.

Authorisations which allow access in 12-200NM zone should not be construed to allow access to 6-12NM Zone.
 

**Important update 08 Jan 2021 on access to 0-6 zones**

The Commission’s Task Force has advised that under the EU / UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the Voisionage arrangement which allows Irish registered vessels access to 0-6nm zone in Northern Ireland and for vessels owned and operated in NI to fish in IRL 0-6nm zone, is valid.
The EU Commission interpretation of EU-UK TCA, is that whilst Voisionage arrangements may continue, such fishing access to the 0-6 zone of an EU MS requires specific authorisation. Northern Ireland vessels that wish to fish in the Irish 0-6 zone under Voisionage arrangements set out in the Sea-Fisheries Amendment Act, 2019) require authorisation issued from the relevant UK fishery authority in accordance with EU SMEFF regulation 2017/2043. 

**Additional update 15 Jan 2021 on access to 0-6 zones**

Ireland has clarified that the UK similarly requires authorisation of Irish vessels to fish in the Northern Ireland 0-6 zone under Voisionage arrangements. Irish vessels seeking such authorisation should contact DAFM at inshore@agriculture.gov.ie

 


 

 

Trade of fishery products across EU/Third Country Borders

While food trade may happen without barriers between EU Member States, food trade between the EU and Third Countries are subject to requirements for traders and controls by competent Authorities. Food trade between EU and UK has become subject to such requirements and controls since 01 January 2021.

In the case of products of animal origin, including fishery products, this includes a range of Sanitary & Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements and controls to protect food safety and animal health. Most wild marine fishery products will come under additional Illegal Unregulated Unreported fishing (IUU) requirements  and controls to assist fishery conservation.

 

For imports of fishery products from UK both SPS and IUU requirements have been applied from 01 January 2021

SPS controls are carried out by DAFM

And IUU controls are performed by SFPA IUU Imports

 

For exports of fishery products UK require Catch Certs from 01 January 2021 for wild-caught marine fish, but won’t require health Certification until 01 October 2021.

SFPA is responsible for both SPS Health Certification and IUU Catch Certification

 

 

Importers and Exporters of fishery products Registration: DAFM, TRACES and Customs

Once off registration requirements

 

1.  Importers and Exporters both need to register with DAFM for access to relevant online IT application.

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. 

2.  Importers also need to separately register with  TRACES
 

3.  Importers and Exporters must register with Customs

From 1 January 2021, customs formalities have commenced for all existing and new traders with GB.  As a result, such traders are required to make customs declarations and 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, irrespective of destination.

 

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 is 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.  This pre-notification is done by submitting a CHED within TRACES to notify the Irish BCP of intended import.
    • Additionally and separately all documentation detailed below including IUU documentation must also be provided 24 hours before arrival, through DAFM Import system.  Failure to submit correct documentation within this timeline may result in significant delays in the consignment being processed through the BCP.  For most Third Countries IUU documentation needs to arrive three days in advance but for consignments coming from UK SFPA can accept IUU documentation up to 24 hours before arrival.
  • 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 requires various IUU documentation all submitted at time of pre-notification, therefore at least 24 hours in advance of arrival
    • Catch Certificate validated by the Flag State of the catching vessel 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 needs 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.  Please note there are no Health Certificates for importation to the EU of Live Bivalve Molluscs other than those coming from an approved establishment e.g. UK-approved Dispatch Centre.

The requirements above apply to trade from GB to Ireland. Trade from Northern Ireland to Ireland across the land border is not subject to any of the above requirements. However trade from GB to Ireland, entering then transiting Northern Ireland before arriving to Ireland, is subject to the above requirement including Health Certificate and Catch certificate where relevant from 01 Jan 2021, with controls performed by NI Authorities .

 

Additional information on IUU import requirements for Irish importers are  available here

 

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

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 have to comply with new UK rules and standards and are 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 January 2022. Catch Certificates and other IUU documents (eg processing statements and storage documents are required for imports of wild-caught fishery products from 01 Jan 2021, followed by Health Certificates from 1 October 2021 for all imports of fishery products, and entry controls at the GB border from January 2022. 
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 January 2022.  However as UK Controlled Goods fish require Customs Declaration to UK Authorities from January.
  • From 1 October 2021, Pre-notification is required at least 24hrs (and up to 30 days) in advance of the arrival in GB. This is the legal responsibility of the GB-based importer (not the Irish/EU-based exporter).
  • From 1 January 2022, consignments must enter GB via a designated Border Control Post (BCP) only. Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks for consignments of fish and fishery products take place at GB Border Control Posts.

 

Documentation 

  • From 1 January 2021, in terms of anti- IUU fishing, wild-caught fish 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. 
  • Catch Certificate validated by the Flag State of the catching vessel. For fishery products caught by Irish vessels, exporters should apply for a Catch Certificate using the DAFm Export Certification system (ECS)
  • 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 IUU 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 October 2021, in terms of SPS controls, the UK authorities 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.

Additional information on IUU import requirements for Irish importers are  available here 

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.
In particular, as UK Controlled Goods fish require Customs Declaration to UK Authorities from January.

The requirements above apply to trade from Ireland to GB. Trade from  Ireland to Northern Ireland across the land border is not subject to any of the above requirements. However trade from Ireland to GB to, transiting then exiting from Northern Ireland before arriving to Ireland, is subject to the above requirement including Catch certificate where relevant from 01 Jan 2021 and Health Certificate from 01 October with controls performed by UK Authorities.

 

 

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. Import Direct landings by UK Fishing vessel to Irish ports

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

As of 1 January 2021, direct landings of UK registered fishing vessels are 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 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 therefore English Scottish and Welsh vessels may only land fresh, not frozen fishery product to Irish ports. However Northern Ireland vessels are not subject to SPS requirements so may land frozen fish to one of the two designated ports of Killybegs or Castletownbere, subject to 72 Hours notice and all of the IUU and NEAFC documentary requirements and authorisations.

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 UK registered fishing vessel (or representative) to the Irish Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) for onward transmission to the SFPA :

  • Prior-Notification Form;
  • Pre-Landing Declaration;
  • Catch Certificate validated by the UK Authorities, and issued to the UK exporter (in this instance the master) for submission along with prior-notification and pre-landing declaration to the Irish FMC, which will be subject to verification by the SFPA.

In addition, as the vessel is landing fish from  NEAFC Convention Area to the port of a foreign NEAFC Contracting Party, the landing also requires a NEAFC PSC1 form to be submitted by the Masters/ Agent through the NEAFC website for completion by the UK FMC and transmission by the UK FMC to the Irish FMC for processing by the Irish authorities.

  • The PSC form must be submitted by Masters in electronic format through the NEAFC website and vessel Masters 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 such attestation for direct landings by UK vessels to Irish designated ports.

Direct landings by fishing vessels registered in Northern Ireland are subject to the above IUU and NEAFC obligations when landing in Irish ports from 01 January 2021. Requirements notably include restriction to  IUU and NEAFC-designated ports and obligation to submit Catch Certificate and NEAFC PSC form, then await authorisation to land.

Please note the allowance to directly-land fishery products does not include Live Bivalve Molluscs, e.g wild-caught scallops or Razor Clams. UK vessels may land such products to UK ports for subsequent export as consignments from UK to EU under appropriate Health Certificate.

Additional information on Direct landings is available here

 

 

4. Export Direct Landings by Irish Vessels to UK Ports

4. Requirements for exports direct landings by Irish fishing vessels into UK

 

As of 1 January 2021, all exports from the EU to GB have to comply with new UK rules and standards and are subject to any applicable regulatory compliance checks and controls on imports. EU fishing vessels (including Irish vessels) wishing to land in the UK are subject to the rules applicable in the UK.

The UK Government has indicated that direct landings from EU vessels are permitted only in the following North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) designated ports in UK: Aberdeen; Ardglass; Bangor (County Down); Belfast; Brixham; Buckie; Campbeltown; Dundee; Eyemouth; Falmouth; Fraserburgh; Granemouth; Greenock; Grimsby; Harwich; Holyhead; Hull; Immingham; Invergordon; Kilkeel; Kinlochbervie; Leith; Lerwick; Lochinver; Londonderry; Lowestoft; Mallaig; Methil; Milford Haven; Newlyn; North Shields; Oban; Peterhead; Plymouth; Portavogie; Portsmouth; Scalloway; Scarborough; Scrabster; Shoreham; Stornoway; Swansea; Troon; Ullapool; Warrenpoint; Whitehaven;

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 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 to the UK Importer for onward transmission to the UK Authorities::

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

Such IUU submissions are necessary for Irish vessels landing to English, Scottish or Welsh ports.  However Irish Fishing vessels landing to Northern Ireland ports are not subject to IUU requirements so do not need to submit such IUU documentation.

In addition, as the vessel is landing fish from NEAFC Convention Area to the port of a foreign NEAFC Contracting Party, the landing will also require a NEAFC PSC1 form to be submitted by the Master/ Agent for completion by the Irish FMC and sent to the UK FMC for processing by the UK authorities.  

Such IUU submissions are necessary for Irish vessels landing to English, Scottish or Welsh ports.  However Irish Fishing vessels landing to Northern Ireland ports are not subject to IUU requirements so do not need to submit such IUU documentation.

  • The PSC form is submitted in electronic format 4 hours before landing fresh fish and 24 hours for frozen fish and vessel Masters need to set up an account on the NEAFC website https://psc.neafc.org/welcome in order to submit the PSC form.

From a NEAFC perspective there is no difference between Northern Ireland Ports and any other UK port. Therefore Irish Fishing vessels landing to Northern Ireland ports are subject to NEAFC PSC requirements and controls described above.

In terms of SPS documentation, from 1 January 2021, there is no immediate requirement for such attestation for direct landings of fresh fishery products.  Irish vessels may only land frozen fish to a GB port also designated as a BCP and such landings require a Captains Declaration of fishery product health status from 1 October 2021.  However landings by Irish vessels to Northern Ireland ports are exempt from SPS requirements so frozen fish may land at a NEAFC designated port without BCP status subject to the longer (24h) advance submission requirements.

Please note that while exempt from IUU requirements, the SPS allowance to directly-land fishery products does not include Live Bivalve Molluscs, e.g wild-caught scallops. From January until April Irish vessels may land such products to NEAFC-designated UK ports subject to NEAFC requirements and controls. But from 01 April 2020 direct landings by Irish vessels of such product to GB ports may not occur.  After 01 October Irish vessels may land such products to e.g. Northern Ireland ports subject to NEAFC controls, or to any EU port. Such products may be exported to GB as consignments from an Irish approved food establishment accompanied by the appropriate UK Health Certificate.

Direct landings by fishing vessels registered in Ireland are subject to the above NEAFC obligations when landing to ports in Northern from 01 January 2021. Requirements notably include restriction to NEAFC-designated ports and obligation to submit NEAFC PSC form, then await authorisation to land

 

Additional information on Direct landings is available here

 

 

 

5. UK Landbridge: Intra-EU movement of consignments through GB

 

 

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

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, are subject to Customs Transit Procedures. Ensuring that documentation is in order prior to arrival of the goods can help mitigate the risk of delays.

From EU SPS law perspective the main requirements for ‘landbridge’ transit of fishery product consignments arise when re-entering the EU following transit:

  • Consignments must re-enter the EU at a designated BCP
  • Operators must pre-notify the SPS competent authority of the re-entry BCP
    This is technically the responsibility of the operator responsible for EU re-entry e,g the customer in the receiving EU Member States. Different EU Re-entry Member States have different notification requirements, for example France requires notification in TRACES using a CHED, whiles other EU MS rely on notification through Customs NCTS.

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. For more information please see link.

In particular, while EU law does not require either Health Certificate or Catch Certificate, the UK authorities will require from 01 October 2021 Pre-noitification on IPAFFS; GB Health Certificate: No identity or physical checks.

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

This is the link on the Live system for Industry who are not yet registered on CCS and SSO and wish to use the ECS system.

https://publicapps.agriculture.gov.ie/ecs-ui/#/captcha

 

Revenue and Customs: In addition, customs formalities have commenced for all existing and new traders with GB.  As a result, such traders are required to make customs declarations and 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 do 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.

 

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

No, this has changed as of 1 January 2021, Irish vessels wishing to land in GB are subject to new rules. The UK Government has indicated that direct landings from EU vessels are permitted only in the following North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) designated ports in GB: The full list of GB NEAFC designated ports can be found here.

 

What documentation do 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 is classed as a form of export to a Third Country and requires a Catch Certificate. In addition, Irish and EU vessels fishing in the NEAFC Convention Area 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 do 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.

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 do I need to export fish to GB from January 2021?

From 1 January 2021, consignments of wild-caught marine fishery products require a Catch Certificate validated by the SFPA. In addition, from 1 October 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 require a Catch Cert

  • In order to obtain a Catch Cert, you 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 varies 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 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).

  Where and when can UK registered Northern Ireland vessels land?

The five new ports designated are Greencastle, Rathmullen and Burtonport in Donegal, Ros a Mhíl and Howth. They join Killybegs and Castletownbere which continue to be designated for landings from vessels of any third country origin.

Under the new designations Ros a Mhíl and Howth will be able to accommodate landings of demersal fish from vessels under 24 metres and will operate Monday to Friday from 10am to 10pm.

Greencastle, Rathmullen and Burtonport will be designated for non-quota species landings from vessels under 18 metres and will operate from 2pm to 8pm from Monday to Friday.

From 1st January 2021, the United Kingdom is a third country and subject to Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) legislation and North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) requirements. This means that any UK, including Northern Ireland, registered vessels must comply with third country landing requirements when landing in the EU, including Irish ports and is a direct result of Brexit and included in the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland. Up until a conclusion of an agreement on the future relationship between the UK and the EU on Christmas Eve, it remained unclear whether Northern Ireland vessels that had access to Irish waters would continue to do so.

How do I apply for access to UK waters?

To apply for Access to UK Waters: UK Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) 12 - 200 Nautical Miles and Northern Ireland 0 - 6 Nautical Mile Zone

Please complete the application form the   DAFM website  if you wish to make an application for your sea-fishing boat access:

 

Links to EU Readiness Notices

Links to UK Policy Briefs

Northern Ireland-registered fishing vessels Entering or Discharging fish at Irish Ports. Specific Scenarios

Important message. SFPA guidance is issued purely from the perspective of the Port State authority responsible for fishery control and food safety controls for landings to Ireland. In all cases vessels owners and masters are strongly advised to consult with the Flag State issuing the fishing license.

Entering port without discharge of fish

Q1. I operate a Northern Ireland registered vessel and wish to enter an Irish port which has not been designated or outside of its designated times, with fish on-board but not to discharge those fish at that port, instead to avail of port services. This might include tying-up for the night.

Q2. I operate a Northern Ireland registered vessel and wish to enter an Irish port which has not been designated, without any fish onboard,. This might include having already landed my catch to a suitably designated port.

Q3. I operate a Northern Ireland registered vessel and wish to enter an Irish port outside of its designated times with view to discharging my catch during the designated times. This might include arrival during the weekend with view to discharging catch on Monday.

Answer to Q1, Q2, Q3. The answer to all of the questions is that the legislation SFPA is required by government policy to implement requires ports to be designated and landing to be authorised,  not-only for discharge of fish by Third Country fishing vessels,  but also for entry of Third Country fishing vessel to avail of port services. Therefore all of the events described above will be regarded as entry to a non-designated port without appropriate authorisation. You should plan your fishing trips which you wish to finish in an Irish port to ensure arrival at the appropriately designated port within its designated times.  Operator safety overrides all of this, and if you need to invoke entry under ‘Force majeure’, you should contact FMC in advance and expect to be asked to provide a zero-discharge pre-landing declaration

Remaining in port after legitimate entry and/or discharge of fish

Q4 I operate a Northern Ireland registered vessel and plan to enter an Irish port at the designated times with the necessary advance submissions. Following that I may tie-up there for several days before going fishing again, including times when the port is not designated, is that permitted?

Answer to Q4. Whist there are general requirements in international maritime law for presence within the internal waters of a state to be justified by a legitimate purpose, none of the legislation which SFPA is required to implement create an explicit necessity to depart following legitimate entry or discharge of fish. Therefore the answer is yes, provided the initial arrival was legitimate you are not obliged to leave within any particular timeframe.