Brexit transition Q&As - Direct landings of fishing vessels

Brexit transition questions and answers related to direct landings of fishing vessels.

Are there any changes for a Northern Ireland (NI) registered vessel landing into Great Britain (GB), this includes the Crown Dependencies e.g. Isle of Man?

No, this will be business as usual. There will be no change to the rights and responsibilities of NI registered vessels fishing in UK waters.

Can Northern Ireland (NI) registered vessels continue to land into ports outside of the EU (e.g. Norway, Faroe Islands)?

Yes, this will remain business as usual.

The UK government has signed continuity agreements with Norway (on 30 September) and with Faroe Islands (on 15 October) to allow UK fishermen to continue to access and catch fishing quotas in Norwegian and Faroese waters from 1 January 2021.

Can Northern Ireland (NI) registered vessels continue to land into EU ports?

Our current understanding is that Northern Ireland registered vessels will need to land into a designated port in line with Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing regulations.  Further details on the EU designated ports will be confirmed following the conclusion of the EU/UK Negotiations and made available on our website, once known.

Will there be any new Sanitary Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements?

There will be no new Sanitary Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements for UK-flagged vessels with their port of registration in Northern Ireland (‘NI-registered vessels’) when landing fishery products into EU ports. This will be the case regardless of the location from which those products are caught.

Other aspects of the treatment of NI-registered vessels, and in particular their exemptions from EU tariffs in line with the decision to be reached by the UK-EU Joint Committee, are subject to ongoing discussions between the UK and EU. Further guidance will be provided subsequent to their conclusion.

Can GB registered vessels land into Northern Ireland ports on day 1?

Yes, although direct landings of fresh fishery products (or fish that has undergone primary production such as de-heading) by UK-flagged vessels (with their port of registration in England, Wales or Scotland) into ports in Northern Ireland, will need to:

  • land into a port designated in line with Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing regulations
  • submit a prior notification form four hours in advance of landing
  • submit a landing declaration (and transhipment declaration if applicable) four hours in advance of landing (or the transhipment taking place)
  • send a complete and validated catch certificate to the competent authority in Northern Ireland (if applicable to the species of fish being landed)

Direct landings (either the vessel or the catch) may be subject to risk-based checks at the designated port into which they land.

There is a separate process for freezer, factory or reefer vessels landing fish that has undergone secondary processing (e.g. freezing or wrapping). These vessels will need to enter via a designated point of entry in line with Sanitary Phytosanitary (SPS) regulations and provide a Captain’s Certificate. The vessels will need to be approved in line with food hygiene regulations by the relevant local authority and listed by the EU.


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