Brits may face fish and chips shortage over Brexit red tape, Norwegian fishermen claim

Brexit: Andrew Pierce says fishing ‘teething problems’ will pass

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The UK Government confirmed yesterday they would be going ahead with implementing the next stage of post-Brexit regulations from October 1. The new post-Brexit regulations which were approved by the UK Government will mean companies importing animal products into the UK will require Export Health Certificates (EHC) and various additional consignment paperwork.

But it has emerged tonight from industry leaders that more than 15,000 certificates will need to be issued by the Norwegian government otherwise fish exports including Cod and Haddock would not be allowed into the UK.

Helene Kristoffersen, head of catch-based industry at the Seafood Companies, based in the Central region of Trøndelag, said: “The British want fish and chips, but not without an original health certificate.

“With the introduction of Brexit, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority must be prepared to issue around 15,000 more certificates than before, in order for Norwegian seafood to get the green light on the border with the UK.”

Ms Kristoffersen said the new post-Brexit rules were “certainly not a change for the better” for the industry due to increased costs.


The Norwegian fishing industry chief also said fresh fish would “have a shorter shelf life with the end user.”

Ms Kissferson also feared the industry initially saw the certificates as a “blissful mess” due to be the complex red tape introduced by the UK Government.

At the same time, pressure is also being put on the UK Government by British fishing chiefs to secure a fisheries access deal.

This should be in the form of a temporary trade remedy, the UK Fisheries group said.

It comes as talks with Norway aimed at thrashing out an agreement collapsed in April, with no prospect of a deal being agreed before 2022.

Norway Fisheries Minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen said licences for British vessels had stopped being issued until a new deal is agreed between London and Oslo.

This means most of the fish that used to be caught by British crews for Britain’s national dish will now be caught by Norwegians and Icelanders and exported initially.

Vessels including Kirkella, which is based in Hull and can catch up to 2.3 million fish in a week-long trip in waters off Norway and Greenland are unable to operate because of the restrictions.

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A spokesperson for the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs said: “We have always been clear that we will only strike agreements if they are balanced and in the interests of the UK fishing industry, unlike previous EU arrangements which were highly imbalanced and not in the UK’s overall interests.

“We put forward a fair offer to Norway on access to UK waters and the exchange of fishing quotas.

“While they did not take this up, Norway continues to be a key partner and we will continue to work with them over the course of the year.”

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