Fisheries and Brexit Bulletin 29 August 2019

 29 August 2019                                                                     Issue 10



Welcome to the tenth edition of the Fisheries and Brexit Bulletin. As the UK prepares to leave the EU on 31 October, it is a time of great change and uncertainty for the fishing industry. There is a continued need for you to prepare your business. This bulletin aims to help with these preparations, help you understand the requirements and support available.

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Since November 2018, we have encouraged as many people as possible to subscribe to the Fisheries and Brexit Bulletin at

In the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit on 31 October, the UK will become a “third country” and businesses will need to comply with new rules and regulations for trading.


Catch Certificates

When we leave the EU on 31 October, the UK’s trading arrangements with the EU will change, and businesses will need to comply with rules and regulations set by the EU.

In a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, most consignments of fish exported to the EU will need to be accompanied by a UK catch certificate, which is designed to prevent illegal fishing. A catch certificate is not required for trade in some aquaculture products, freshwater fish, some molluscs, fish fry or larvae.

If the fish is sourced from another country and then processed or stored before export, a processing statement or storage document is required, alongside a catch certificate.

Exporters will also need to ensure fisheries products meet EU health standards before being exported. This includes obtaining an Export Health Certificate and ensuring exports are dispatched from an EU Approved Premise. Exported products can only enter the EU marketplace through an approved Border Inspection Post, which must be notified in advance.

The government has developed a new online service to enable businesses to create catch certificates and other supporting documents online. The Fish Exports service is available on GOV.UK and seafood exporters need to register before 31 October to continue to export.

The registration process takes around 15 minutes to complete and you only need to do it once. Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to practice using the service before it becomes a legal requirement.

For more information about exporting fish to the EU in a no-deal Brexit, visit

Export Checklist

In the event of a ‘No-Deal’ EU Exit, the trading landscape may change. We’ve produced a checklist of things you may wish to consider if exporting to the EU as a Third Country.

This list is meant as a guide only and each exporter would be responsible for ensuring all relevant documentation is in place for each consignment.

Are you Brexit ready? Now is the time to Prepare

Preparing Wales

The Welsh Government website, Preparing Wales is a single source of information and advice covering agriculture, business, the environment, and more.

DEFRA encourages seafood businesses to sign up for ‘Brexit Ready’ events

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), in partnership with Seafish and Marine Management Organisation (MMO), is hosting a series of events across England to help seafood traders and processors get ready to do business outside of the EU.

Practical sessions on a range of topics will include catch certificates, food labelling requirements and customs procedures. The events will take place across England in September and October: Plymouth (4 September), Newlyn (5 September), Grimsby (11 September), Scarborough (12 September), Fleetwood (26 September), and London  (4 October).

In Wales, the Welsh Government propose to contact exporters directly.

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Useful sites

Partnership pack: preparing for changes at the UK border after a no deal EU exit

Updated versions of the HMRC partnership packs that have re-issued to stakeholders and intermediaries to help prepare businesses for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

Seafood Innovation Fund

Questions and Answers

The European Commission has published questions and answers relating to fisheries and the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Marine and Fisheries

Welsh Fishermen’s Association

Preparing Wales

The Fishermen’s Mission

The Brexit Portal       

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We are communicating with the Welsh fishing industry to help prepare for when the UK leaves the EU.

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