News article

Brexit: Fisheries sector preparations for no deal

26 June 2019

Steps for businesses in the fisheries sector to take in the event of exiting the EU without a deal

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

Access to waters

Access to waters will change if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Read more about the rules for access to waters

Quota allocations and fishing opportunities

The UK fisheries administrators will tell you what your allocation will be. There will be no automatic right for:

  • the UK to exchange fishing opportunities (quota and effort) with EU member states
  • EU member states to exchange fishing opportunities with the UK

Control and Enforcement regime

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) will provide increased sea surveillance with support from other bodies including the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCA), the Royal Navy and Border Force.

The Maritime and Coastguard agency will provide increased aerial surveillance, and more warranted Marine Enforcement Officers.

Regional fisheries management organisations

The UK will join all relevant regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) as quickly as possible after EU Exit. The joining process may take up to six months so there may be a gap in the UK’s membership. During this time, UK vessels may not be able to fish in international waters covered by RFMOs.

Access to ports

UK vessels will no longer have automatic rights to land fish in any EU port unless there is a case of distress or an unexpected event. All landings must go through an EU designated point of entry.

EU and non-EU (third country) vessels landing into UK ports

Non-UK vessels will no longer have automatic rights to land in any UK ports unless there is a case of distress or an unexpected event. EU vessels fishing in North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission Convention Area and landing into the UK will need to complete a Port State Control 1 form.

Importing and exporting

There are some actions you will need to take if you import or export products between the UK and the EU.

Preparing for disruption to trade at the UK-EU border

To minimise disruption to your business at border points you should take the following steps:

  1. Get a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number so you can continue to import or export goods and apply for authorisations.
  2. Decide if you want to hire an import-export agent, or make the declarations yourself.
  3. Contact the organisation that moves your goods (for example, a haulage firm) to find out what information they need to make the declarations for your goods, or if you will need to make them yourself.

If you do not import and export products directly check that any agent or business you use is prepared.

Read the guidance on simplified customs procedures for trading with the EU if the UK leaves without a deal.

Further information is provided in HMRC’s advice for businesses trading with the EU.

Preparing to move goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland will face different procedures compared to other UK-EU trade.

Read the guidance on customs procedures and VAT for goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Preparing for changes to existing trade agreements

Check the way you currently trade with non-EU countries. When the UK leaves the EU the way you access existing favourable arrangements with these countries may change. Changes may be different for each country.

Read the guidance on changes to trading with non-EU countries that have a free trade agreement with the EU.

Preparing for changes to import tariffs

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the UK would implement a temporary tariff regime. This would apply for up to 12 months while a full consultation, and review on a permanent approach, is undertaken. Under the temporary tariff regime, the majority of UK imports would be tariff-free.

In certain sectors, tariffs would be maintained to support the most sensitive agricultural industries, vulnerable industries exposed to unfair global competition, and to maintain the UK government’s commitment to developing countries.

Check the temporary rates of customs duty on imports after EU Exit.

Further information

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