News article

Brexit: Exporting fish after a no-deal Brexit

10 October 2019


How to export fish after a no-deal Brexit

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, there may be changes that affect your fisheries business.

Exporting fish after a no-deal Brexit

To export fish to the EU after a no-deal Brexit you will need to follow the same rules that are currently in place for exports of fish to some non-EU countries. You will need to create:

You will need to follow customs and border inspection requirements. You may also need:

  • direct landing documents
  • a storage document
  • a processing statement

If you’re exporting fish to the EU, you can view journey maps with the steps you need to take.

Customs requirements

You must comply with HMRC guidance on customs requirements for exporting to the EU.

These rules will apply to:

  • exports to the EU of fish caught by a UK flagged fishing vessel
  • exports to the EU of fish imported from another country that have been stored or processed in the UK
  • direct landings in EU ports by a UK flagged fishing vessel

Send fish to an EU border inspection post

You will need to send all consignments of fish and fishery products through an EU border inspection post (BIP) if the fish was both:

  • caught by a UK flagged vessel
  • landed in the UK before being transported to the EU

Send validated catch certificate to the importer

You must send the validated catch certificate to the importer so they can give them to the receiving country’s competent authority. You must do this for exports by:

  • sea: 72 hours before landing
  • air and rail: 4 hours before arriving
  • road: 2 hours before arriving

If you need help

If you need help with general questions you can contact the fish exports helpline.

The fish exports helpline
Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00
Telephone: 0330 159 1989
Find out about call charges

Get an export health certificate

You will need an export health certificate (EHC) for all exports of fish to the EU. Find out how to get an EHC.

Direct landing documents

To land your catch from your UK flagged fishing vessel directly in the EU you will need to land in a North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) designated EU port.

Fishery enforcement officers may inspect your fish when you arrive. You will need to show them the catch certificate.

You will need to complete a:

  • prior notification form
  • pre-landing declaration

Prior notification form

If you are landing in an EU member state with

Regardless of which form you fill in, you must email them to your destination’s designated EU port before landing. You need to send it:

  • for frozen fish, at least 72 hours before landing - you can fill in the prior notification form before 31 October 2019 for any exports planned from 31 October
  • for fresh fish, at least 4 hours before landing

Pre-landing declaration

You will need to fill in a pre-landing declaration and email it to your destination’s designated EU port 4 hours before landing.

You will need to give details of the:

  • area fished
  • quantity of fish by species on board the vessel

EHC Requirements for UK approved fishing vessels landing in EU

Food approved fishing vessels that land frozen processed fish directly into the EU will require:

  • a Captain’s Certificate signed by a member of the crew (normally the Captain, or an officer or factory ship manager on behalf of the Captain) who is trained and authorised by APHA or DAERA
  • the fish to be landed into a Border Inspection Post (BIP) approved for the landed fishery product Food approved vessels include freezer, reefer and factory vessels (‘processing’ includes activities such as wrapping, mincing, freezing and filleting)

Non-food approved registered vessels that land fresh fish directly into the EU at a NEAFC designated port will not require an Export Health Certificate or to pass through a BIP. They will still be subject to any normal official controls within the port. ‘Fresh fish’ may have undergone primary production, which may include de-heading or gutting.

North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) Port State Control forms

You will have to register your fishing vessel with NEAFC. Once your vessel is registered, you will need to submit a NEAFC Port State Control form (PSC1 or PSC2) before landing.

Check with the NEAFC to find out how much notice you need to give. This will vary depending on the country you’re exporting to and how your product is presented.

Storage document - for fish stored in the UK but not processed

If you are exporting to the EU fish sourced from another country that have been stored in the UK for 12 hours or longer, but not processed in any way, you will need to create a storage document.

You must keep a copy of the catch certificate from the original consignment with the storage document.

Processing statement - for fish processed in the UK

If you are exporting to the EU fish sourced from another country that has been processed in the UK, you will need to create a processing statement.

Include a copy of the catch certificate from the original consignment with the processing statement.

Read more about exporting fish after a no-deal Brexit.