First Seafish economic performance estimates for 2020 show negative impact of the COVID19 pandemic on the UK fishing fleet Seafish, the public body that supports the UK seafood industry to thrive, has begun consulting with its levy payers and the wider seafood industry on its proposals for a new levy model.

Seafish has begun a consultation with its levy payers and the wider seafood industry on its proposals for a new levy model

Seafish seeks industry feedback on first levy changes since 1999

Seafish, the public body that supports the UK seafood industry to thrive, has begun consulting with its levy payers and the wider seafood industry on its proposals for a new levy model.

Seafish levy is due on the first sale of seafood, both domestically landed and imported, in the UK. Levy is not charged on farmed salmon and trout, freshwater fish species and some canned and bottled products.

Seafish uses the levy it collects to provide support, advice and services across the whole UK seafood supply chain. The Seafish levy has not changed since 1999. Levy reform was discussed with the seafood industry during the organisation’s Strategic Review in 2021 where there was general agreement that an improved levy model is needed to ensure Seafish has a stable financial model so it can continue to support the industry now and in the future.

The proposed changes to the Seafish levy model in the consultation include:

  • A single levy rate across all species;
  • A phased increase in levy for some species;
  • Including all canned, bottled and preserved seafood products – not just products manufactured in the UK;
  • An automatic inflationary adjustment to the levy each year which will be capped at 2%;
  • Minor changes to the administration of the levy to make collection and payment more efficient.

A series of workshops are taking place with invited levy payers and seafood representatives from 13-17 March. An online survey is open from 13 March for 6 weeks for any seafood stakeholders to provide feedback.

Marcus Coleman, CEO at Seafish, said:

“During our Strategic Review in 2021, the seafood industry told us they need us more than ever to manage the challenges they face and support them to thrive. They also told us they wanted a fairer and more equitable Seafish levy model. We need a funding model that ensures we can deliver what the industry need now and into the future to help us support a thriving seafood industry. The last levy changes were in 1999, so this is a priority.

“However, we also appreciate the seafood industry is under pressure with the current economic crisis and changing trading arrangements. Our proposed changes represent a pragmatic and reasonable adjustment to ensure our continued support while also minimising impact on the industry.

“This is an important step in our journey to building an organisation and a levy model that is fit for the future.”

Changes to the Seafish levy require legislation change and this process is expected to take around 2 years.

  • Once Seafish has made formal recommendations to government and these have been considered and approved by relevant ministers across the UK administrations, legislation to implement the changes will be taken through the UK Parliamentary process. This is anticipated to be during 2024.
  • Earliest that changes to levy will take effect will be during the 2024/25 financial year.

The online survey is open from 13 March to 23 April and anyone with an interest in the Seafish levy and seafood industry is invited to respond. The link to the survey is https://bit.ly/SeafishLevyReview.

Any queries about the consultation should be sent to [email protected]

Source: Press Release

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