As the UK is no longer an EU Member state, UK registered fishing vessels, including those vessels which are registered to addresses in Northern Ireland, are subject to new EU fisheries and food safety controls reflecting the UK’s status now as a Third Country.
From 1st January 2021, UK registered vessels, including NI registered vessels must be pre-authorised by the SFPA prior to their arrival into port. If authorised, they may only land into one of the two Irish ports that are currently designated for Third Country landings: Killybegs or Castletownbere.
There are certain exemptions for Northern Ireland registered vessels in relation to food safety requirements when landing to Irish ports, but otherwise they are treated as non-GB UK vessels.
The SFPA is committed to fair and effective regulation and the application of EU regulations including those regarding third countries, such as the UK. Breaches of EU legislation can result in criminal prosecution regardless of a non-EU vessel’s country of registration.
The SFPA would encourage all vessels owners to familiarise themselves with the new regulations. Full details are available on the SFPA website. The SFPA would also encourage any Irish registered vessel owner with a query regarding sea-fisheries regulations to contact their local SFPA port office.