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Seafish Brexit Update

Seafish Brexit Update – Since the first edition of Seafish’s UK Seafood Industry Guide on 17 January there have been significant changes that you can find summarized below.

Nevertheless we suggest consulting their guide for more detailed information with regard each question.

Where will I be able to view the applicable legislation after 29th March? (NEW – Question 1.5)

The FSA are working on an archive for EU regulation in force at 23:00 on the 29th March.

What does ‘falling back on WTO rules’ mean? What impact would this have? (NEW – Question 1.6)

In a non-deal scenario new import duties and various controls will be imposed on trade between the UK and the EU.

Will products made before the UK exits the EU and stored in warehouses be able to be sold legally if we leave the EU without a deal? (NEW – Question 2.21)

Food and drink placed on the market before 11 pm on 29 March 2019 may continue to be sold through until those stocks become exhausted. The remit of this provision within the EU is still unclear.

Have bilateral discussions taken place with EU member states about pragmatic approaches to enforcement in the event of no deal? (NEW – Question 2.13)

No. The UK has no control over enforcement outside the UK. The UK can only recommend that labels are replaced or over-stickered as required to ensure they are fully accurate. This would include ensuring country of origin labelling, health marks and responsible business addresses were correct. Business can use the address of the importer of the goods into the EU as an acceptable alternative.

Will Government take a pragmatic approach to enforcement where labels are found to be incorrect? (NEW – Question 2.15)

Government is working with enforcement officials to agree the requirements for a pragmatic approach to be taken where labels are found to be incorrect.

Can a PO Box be used as a food business address in the UK? (NEW – Question 2.3)

In a non-deal scenario PO boxes used on the label must enable the food business operator or importer to be contacted concerning any issue arising from their product and to allow enforcement notices to be served if necessary. They do not replace the need for the business concerned to be established with a physical presence.

Is there a transition period to prepare for any changes? (CHANGE – Question 2.4 is now 2.5)

This has now changed to 21 months for products on the UK market.

What changes need to be made to EU hygiene ID marks? (CHANGE – Question 2.5 is now 2.6)

The final form of the ID/health mark in a ‘no deal’ exit is different to that which had previously been proposed and subsequently it appeared in the first version of our guide. Whereas FSA proposed that the new mark simply removed the ‘EC’ abbreviation, the final agreement actually requires the replacement of the EC abbreviation with ‘GB’ or ‘United Kingdom’.”

Will there be any transitional arrangements for EU hygiene ID marks? (CHANGE – Question 2.6 now 2.7)

The period of time in which EC ID marks could be used on the domestic market has been specified for seafood products (21 months after the UK leaves the EU). This period would start on the 29 March 2019 and finish on the 31 December 2020.

Future EU approval numbers for trading with the EU (CHANGE – Question 2.7 now Question 2.8)

The new version of the guide specifies that FSA has not planned to change approval numbers, but the health and identification marks would need to change after 29 March 2019 if the UK leaves the EU in a ‘no deal’ scenario.

How will EU legislation that is retained in UK legislation apply to trade with EEA countries and Switzerland? (NEW – Question 3.5)

UK trade with these countries will be treated as trade with EU member states in accordance with such agreements.

What new import controls will be in place at the UK border? What health documentation will I need? (CHANGE – Question 4.1)

The new version mentions the system replacing TRACES: Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS). It also says that UK will require a catch certificate for most consignments of wild-caught seafood imported from the EU and for direct landings of EU-caught fishery products. It also explains that non-UK vessels, including EU vessels, intending to land their catch in the UK will need to follow the same rules that will apply to UK-registered vessels accessing an EU port.

How will I be able to check the Customs tariff for my product? (CHANGE – Question 4.4)

In a non-deal scenario the new version indicates that the UK government intends to introduce a new tariff schedule that will supersede the current EU-wide schedule (tariffs on imported seafood could change). There has not been any information released on the new tariffs.

Section 6 has been completely changed. Given the size of the new explanations here there is only a reference to the new questions. If you want to go to the details please read our latest version.


I export to the EU so no customs duties are paid on the goods as their destination. Will this change? (Question 6.1 has been reformulated)


What documentation would I need to export fisheries products to the EU in a ‘no deal’ scenario? (Question 6.2 has been reformulated)

How do I get a Catch Certificate, Storage Document and/or Processing Statement for my consignment to the EU in a ‘no deal’ scenario? (NEW – Question 6.3)

How I do get a catch certificate, storage document and/or processing statement for my consignment to the EU in a non-deal scenario? (NEW – Question 6.4)

In a ‘no deal’ scenario, I want to land a catch from a UK-flagged vessel directly into the EU. What documentation would I need? (NEW – Question 6.5)

Can I land my catch/export my seafood products to any port in the EU in a ‘no deal’ scenario? (NEW- Question 6.6)