Under Brexit rules, UK licensed fishing vessels may no longer access services in any other ports in the Republic, except for the designated ports. Northern Ireland registered fishing boats landing their catch in Irish fishing ports are now under the same regulations as third country fishing vessels. Therefore, creating a hard border at the fishing port.
Moville Pier, Co Donegal
In order to land their catch into an Irish fishing port, Northern Irish boats have to comply to the same regulations as UK fishing vessels:
As of 01 January 2021, before a UK registered fishing vessel can land its catch in either of these ports, the vessel must be registered with NEAFC’s Port Control System.
Fresh fish can be landed into any NEAFC designated port. If you are the Captain or Skipper of a factory or freezer vessel that is an approved food establishment, you will need to land into a Border Control Post (BCP) that can handle your type of product – check your trade route in advance and find out who the relevant EU ‘competent authority’ is.
Before landing, a prior notification must be submitted to the EU Competent Authority up to 4 hours ahead for fresh fish and up to 72 hours ahead for frozen fish. And a pre-landing declaration must be submitted at least 4 hours ahead.
A UK catch certificate must be completed for the catch you intend to land. Local Authority approved freezer, reefer or factory vessels that land frozen or processed fish directly into the EU will require a Captain’s Certificate signed by the Captain who is authorised by APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) or DAERA (Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs). This does not apply to fresh fish.
New rules also apply to vessels from Great Britain landing catch in Northern Ireland which require catch certificates and other documentation to be supplied to authorities there.
The new regulations have led to frustrations amongst the fishing communities in the north of Ireland with some of them saying they will not comply with the SFPA order.