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Brexit and Trade Compliance: Guidance for Industry

While the full implications of Brexit and the future trading relationship between the EU and UK are not yet known, the UK's decision to leave the EU will result in changes, both here in Ireland and for our EU partners. The EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement ensures that the UK leaves the EU in an orderly manner through a phased approach.

The Withdrawal Agreement has now received formal ratification from both the UK and EU Parliaments and the UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020. The UK 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. This transition period can be extended (once for an additional one to two years) if requested and agreed by the EU before 1 July 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. 2020 will involve the EU and UK entering an intensive and ambitious process of negotiating new trade arrangements and setting out the future trading requirements. These new requirements will apply from the end of the transition period.

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

Guidance for the sea-fisheries and seafood production sectors

As part of a series of measures that the Government have been taking, both nationally and in conjunction with the EU, the SFPA have updated their Brexit Trade Compliance guidance to prepare the sea-fisheries and seafood production sectors for the UK's exit from the EU. The guidance provided below 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 February 2020 and solely dreived from existing EU legislation and information published in the following EU and UK Preparedness Notices:

SFPA Guidance Leaflet: Brexit and Trade Guidance

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 below.

Future regulatory implications

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

Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) control inspections

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

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

 

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

If you want to continue importing or exporting fish or fishery products from or to the UK after 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.

 

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

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

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

If you are the person responsible for moving fish and fishery products across the UK landbridge in either direction:

  • You must be registered with DAFM's Corporate Customer System (CCS) and the EU's online system TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System). 
  • if the person responsible for the consignment does not have access to these systems, they should register for access by downloading and completing the application forms from: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/brexit/preparingforbrexit/registration/ 
  • A Common 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.

Import Consignments

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


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

Pre-notification and entry procedure

  • 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

  • Each consignment will need to be accompanied by a Health Certificate, drawn up in conformity with the model under EU law for the particular product, completed and signed on behalf of the Competent Authorities of the UK.
  •  Under existing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing regulations, wild caught fishery products will additionally require a Catch Certificate submitted as part of pre-notification which needs to be verified by the SFPA through a series of cross-checks.
    • Exemptions: Fishery product imports which do not require Catch Certificates (e.g. farmed fish and farmed shellfish, freshwater fish or freshwater shellfish, fish fry or larvae, and some molluscs including mussels, cockles, oysters and scallops) must have attestation of that status also routed via the SFPA.

Export Consignments

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

Once the transition period comes to and end, 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

  • Consignments must enter the UK 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 UK-based importer (not the Irish/EU-based exporter).

Documentation 

  • SPS documentation, the UK has stated that fish and fish products exported directly from the EU to the UK will require Health Certificates after the transition period.
  • Anti illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, documentation- Wild-caught fish will require a Catch Certificate and other commercial and supporting documents (e.g. storage documents and processing statements if applicable) related to fish imports to the UK from the EU:
    • The responsibility for obtaining a Catch Certificate falls on the exporter and it will need to be validated by the SFPA.
    • 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.

Imports by Direct Landing

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

Pre-notification and pre-authorisation procedure

At present, UK vessels can land into any Irish port. However, once the transition period comes to and end, under existing anti-IUU fishing regulations and North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) requirements, direct landings of fresh fishery products by UK fishing vessels:

  • Will need to be pre-notified and pre-authorised by the Irish authorities prior to their arrival, and;
  • If authorised, land into the one of the two designated Irish ports for Third Country landings; Killybegs or Castletownbere only.

Documentation

  • In terms of IUU documentation, direct landings will require a Catch Certificate issued by the UK Authorities at least four hours in advance of landing.
  • If the vessel is landing NEAFC regulated resources, the submission will also require a NEAFC PSC1 form to be completed by the UK Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) and sent to the Irish FMC for processing by the Irish authorities.
  • As per the IUU regulations, at least 5% of all landings by UK fishing vessels will be met by the SFPA at time of landing.
    • A risk-based assessment of the vessel will be conducted which may be escalated to a full physical inspection if necessary
  • In terms of SPS documentation, from day-1, there is no immediate requirement for attestation; however, vessel owners should be aware that future potential exists for this requirement.

Exports by Direct Landings

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

In terms of designated ports for EU landings, as of the withdrawal date, EU fishing vessels (including Irish vessels) wishing to land in the UK will be subject to the rules applicable in the UK. The UK Government are currently reviewing the number and location of ports that will be designated to permit future landings from EU vessels. Details of these locations have yet to be confirmed. Once this information becomes available, we will publish it here.

Pre-notification and pre-authorisation procedure

  • Master of Irish fishing vessel (or representative) will need to send a ‘Prior Notification Form’ to the Irish Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) for onward transmission to the UK Authorities, a minimum of 4hrs prior to landing for fresh fish and 72hrs for frozen fish.
  • Master of Irish fishing vessel (or representative) will need to send a ‘Pre Landing Declaration Form’, in addition to the Prior Notification Form; a minimum of 4hrs prior to landing. This will be sent to the Irish FMC for onward transmission to the UK Authorities.

Documentation

  • Catch Certificates: Export of catches in terms of direct landings by Irish and EU vessels into the UK will be subject to fisheries control checks by the UK Authorities and will require a Catch Certificate, validated by the SFPA.
  • If the vessel is landing those North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) resources that are subject to regulatory controls, the submission will require a PSC1 form to be completed by the Irish FMC and sent to the UK FMC.
  • In terms of SPS documentation, from day-1, there is no immediate requirement for attestation; however, vessel owners should be aware that future potential exists for this requirement.