Fishermen in Pembrokeshire are facing a £199 fee to export their products to the EU. The fee is being introduced by the County Council’s Cabinet to allow the Port Health Team to issue ECHs. The certificates are mandatory for all companies in the UK exporting or moving live animal products to the EU post-Brexit.
A spokesperson from Pembrokeshire Cabinet said: “As a result of Brexit, fishery products exported to the European Union from the United Kingdom now require an EHC, as laid out in the Official Control Regulations 2017/625.”
UK fisheries have been one of the most contentious topics during the Brexit negotiations.
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson had promised UK fishermen they would be fully protected in the event of any post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union, which was signed on December 30, 2020.
The trade deal stated there would be a five-year transition period during which little would change that would see EU boats continue to gain access to UK waters until 2026.
Shortly after the trade deal with the EU was signed, then-Prime Minister Mr Johnson admitted concessions were made to Brussels but insisted the agreement was a success.
He said: “The EU began with I think wanting a transition period of 14 years, we wanted three years, we’ve ended up at five years.
“That was a reasonable transition period and I can assure great fish fanatics in this country that we will as a result of this deal be able to catch and eat quite prodigious quantities of extra fish.
“For the first time since 1973 we will be an independent coastal state with full control of our waters with the UK’s share of fish in our waters rising substantially from roughly half today to closer to two thirds in five-and-a-half years’ time.
“After that, there is no theoretical limits beyond those placed by science or conservation on the quantity of our own fish that we can fish in our waters.”
Environment Minister Mark Spencer said in December that the UK has gained an extra 30,000 tonnes of fishing quota as a result of leaving the EU.
Speaking to the Commons, he said: “The UK’s fishing opportunities are negotiated in three main forums. Firstly, UK-EU bilateral. Today the UK reached an agreement with the EU on total allowable catches for 2023 on 69 stocks as well as arrangements for non quota stocks.
“This deal provides fishing opportunities for more than 140,000 tonnes for the UK fleet and is worth around £282 million based on historic landing prices. As part of this deal, we have agreed access arrangements on albacore tuna, on spurdog in the North Sea for the first time through the UK-EU written record.
“For non quota stocks, we have agreed a rollover of access arrangements for 2023 to ensure continued access to fish non quota stocks in the EU waters worth around £25 million per year to the UK fleet.”
He added: “As a result of the quota share uplifts agreed in the trade and cooperation agreement, the UK has around 30,000 tonnes more quota from these negotiations and it would have received if it were as it would… as a previous member of the EU.”
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