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Fishing
Wellbeing resources

Fishing

The UK and EU have concluded the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and now the UK is an independent coastal state.

Annual fisheries negotiations with other coastal states namely EU, Norway, Iceland and Faroe Islands have concluded and fishing opportunities for 2021 have been determined. Negotiations for 2022 are due to start in the autumn.

New Export Health Certificates needed in January 2022

From 15 January 2022, businesses which export fishery and aquaculture products for human consumption to the European Union (EU) and Northern Ireland (NI) will be required to use new export health certificates (EHCs), which confirm certain requirements, health standards and regulations have been met.

As a result of new EU animal health law coming into force and Great Britain’s status as a third country following EU Exit, there are a number of updates to the new certificates from those previously used by exporters. The main change being the requirement for certain products to have the EHC certified by an Official Vet rather than a Food Competent Certifying Officer.

It is recommended businesses familiarise themselves with the full requirements of the new EHCs, available on EHC Online alongside notes for guidance, to check which requirements apply to your products.

Further advice is also available within the UK government published Export Health Certificates FAQ.

For any specific queries please contact traders@defra.gov.uk.

Importing animal products from EU into GB

New controls and requirements due to be introduced from 1 October 2021 and 1 January 2022 have now been delayed to 1 January 2022 and 1 July 2022.

Businesses no longer need to pre-notify or acquire a certified Export Health Certificate (EHC) from 1 October 2021. This means you can continue to import animal product consignments from the European Union as you do today until 31 December 2021. 

UK government sets out new timetable for introducing border controls | Business Wales

Moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland

For traders moving goods from GB to NI, it means the current grace periods and easements currently in force will be extended. The ‘standstill’ arrangement will provide space for discussions with the EU to continue.

Exporting

To export fish and seafood products to the EU here are things you need to do.

Register as a food operator

Make sure vessels who supply you directly or indirectly have registered as a food business operator and have had their vessel inspected by their local authority (LA) or port health authority (PHA).

To export to the EU and move such products to NI from January 2021 an Export Health Certificate (EHC) is needed. For that to be secured, vessel compliance with the hygiene regulations is required. Welsh vessel owners were written to last year to remind them of the legislation and the need to first register as a food business operator and second, for a vessel inspection to be undertaken.

To ensure trade continues, we recommend you check now with your suppliers that an inspection has been undertaken, and if not suggest they contact their LA/PHA to arrange one.

Online registration for Export Health Certificates

Before an application for an Export Health Certificate can be made, you will need first to register with the EHC on-line via the Government Gateway.

Guidance on Export Health Certificates on GOV.UK.

New certificates for exporting fish

Two new Animal Health Regulation Export Health Certificates (EHCs) for fish have been published 8361 and 8364. These must be used from 15 January 2022.

8361 replaces 8270: this is to be used for live fish, live crustaceans and products of animal origin from those animals intended for human consumption.

8364 replaces 8249: this is to be used for bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates and marine gastropods and products of animal origin from those animals intended for human consumption.

Live fish, crustaceans and products from these animals intended for human consumption to the European Union and Northern Ireland: certificate 8361 on GOV.UK

Live bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates, marine gastropods and products from these animals intended for human consumption to the European Union and Northern Ireland: certificate 8364 on GOV.UK

Summary of main changes
  • The most significant change concerns who is permitted to certify (sign) the EHC. Interpretation of the EU rules is that if the product is of aquaculture origin, and is intended for further processing in the EU, and the species is listed in the legislation, an Official Veterinarian (OV) [rather than a Food Competent Certifying Officer] must certify. Therefore, an OV must certify when Part.II.2 of the EHC is not deleted. The list of species covered by this requirement is included in the Annex to EU regulation 2018/1882. Examples of listed fish and shellfish include named species of Salmon (e.g. Atlantic) and Trout (e.g. Rainbow), all decapod crustaceans, and European Flat Oysters.
  • In addition, where certain named fish, or shellfish may act as a vector species, as they live in proximity to a listed species, they are also covered by this regulation. For example, the common edible cockle is named as a disease vector species for the European flat oyster and would require OV certification where they are in contact with (co-habiting or sharing a water supply) with European flat oysters.
  • There is also a requirement for veterinary oversight of aquaculture premises to certify the animal health status of the site and in certain circumstances (for example the export of un-eviscerated listed dead fish from aquaculture) a requirement for clinical investigation within 72 hours of loading by an OV.

Listing of approved establishments and registered cold stores

From January 2021, approved establishments need to be listed with the European Commission (EC) to export fishery products to the EU and or NI, or to supply others that use such products in commodities that are exported to the EU and or NI. Fishery products will need to be dispatched to the EU and or NI from an establishment listed by the EC for export purposes. Approval of an establishment is determined by activities undertaken at the establishment. Not all food business activities need to be approved and you should discuss this with your LA.

If you trade with the EU and or NI please check if your establishment is on the current list of approved establishments.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) will automatically put forward all currently approved establishments for listing with the EC. As of January, the process to get onto the EC list will take up to 20 working days. If your establishment is not listed and needs to be, notify the FSA as soon as possible and by 30 November 2020 at the latest via email to eulistings@food.gov.uk.

Fish Export Service for Catch Certificates, Processing Statements and Storage Documents

UK exporters are required to use the online Fish Export Service to obtain the following documents for exporting, storing and processing fish and fisheries products:

  • Create a UK catch certificate for fish and shellfish caught by UK flagged vessels for export
  • Create a UK storage document for fish and shellfish that have been imported or landed directly into the UK for storage, ready for export
  • Create a UK processing statement for fish and shellfish that have been imported or landed directly into the UK for processing, ready for export.

To use the service all you need to do is sign in using the Government Gateway and follow the instructions. A registration guide is available on GOV.UK and if you experience issues you can contact the Fish Export Service helpline on 0330 159 1989.

A validated Catch Certificate from the Fish Export Service is required to export most fish and fish products that are exported to the EU There are however some exempt products which will not require a Catch Certificate. These include farmed fish and shellfish, freshwater fish, some molluscs (including mussels, cuttlefish, cockles, oysters, and scallops), fish fry or larvae. Further details on exemptions on GOV.UK.

If you land fish directly from a fishing vessel into EU ports, you’ll also need to complete:

  • a prior notification form
  • a pre-landing declaration
  • the NEAFC Port-State Control forms

Sign up for Brexit transition email updates on GOV.UK.

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Further information

Full exporting guidance on GOV.UK.
Fisheries: preparing for 1 January 2021 on Business Wales
Information for food and drink producers on Business Wales
Give prior notification to land fish in the EU on GOV.UK
Make a pre-landing declaration to land fish in an EU port on GOV.UK
Catch certificates for non-EU imports and exports of fish on GOV.UK
Catch recording: Frequently asked questions
How to complete a fishing vessel paper logbook
Fishing vessel paper logbook: frequently asked questions
How to complete a fishing vessel electronic logbook
Fishing vessel electronic logbook: frequently asked questions

Wellbeing support

It’s important that everyone takes care of their personal wellbeing. These organisations support the fisheries sector:

The Community Advice and Listening Line (C.A.L.L) is a dedicated mental health helpline for Wales. They provide confidential listening and emotional support.

Telephone 0800 132 737
Text ‘help’ to 81066
Visit callhelpline.org.uk

The Fishermen’s Mission provides emergency support and practical care to fishermen and their families. It can provide emergency grants for people in need, and access to other grant makers.

Telephone 01489 566910
Visit fishermensmission.org.uk

Dewis Cymru has information and advice on wellbeing issues. Available to people across Wales, it has contact details for local organisations and services that can help with wellbeing issues.

Visit dewis.wales

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