Consultation on changes to the Seafish levy
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In 2021, we carried out a Strategic Review into the future of Seafish. We did this in collaboration with our four Government sponsors and through consultation with the seafood industry.
The Strategic Review gave us a strong mandate for how we should support the seafood sector in the UK to thrive.
In April 2023, we will publish a new five-year Corporate Plan that has been informed by the priorities identified by the industry through the Strategic Review. It sets out our ambition for the years ahead.
The video below explains the outcomes of our Strategic Review. There is also information further down the page.
During our Strategic Review in 2021, the seafood industry told us they wanted a fairer and more equitable Seafish levy system. We also need a 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 change to the levy was in 1999, so this is a priority.
Changing the levy requires a change to legislation. This involves a formal process and we are consulting with industry on the changes we want to make.
Consultation process and timeline
A six week consultation with industry begins on 13 March 2023. We are holding six industry workshops from 13 March to 17 March. An online survey is open from 13 March to 23 April for anyone to share their views.
We are encouraging anyone with an interest in the Seafish levy to share feedback on proposals. The survey is open from 13 March until 23 April. Please view the link below:
Proposed changes to the levy
Over the past 18 months, the Seafish Board has been analysing various models for a new proposed levy system.
We are proposing to consult on:
- A single levy rate, with a phased implementation for some species;
- Including all canned, bottled and preserved seafood products - not just ones manufactured in the UK;
- An automatic inflationary adjustment to the levy each year which will be set at 2%;
- Minor changes to the administration of the levy to make collection and payment more efficient.
Our Levy Consultation Paper can be found at the link below. Note this paper was updated on 21 March 2023 to address an error in the product conversion rates listed in Table 1. If you have any queries about this change please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
These changes give us an opportunity to deliver what industry asked us to deliver during the Strategic Review which we will set out in our new five-year corporate plan.
However, we also appreciate the seafood industry is under pressure with the current economic crisis and challenging operating environment. Our proposed changes represent a pragmatic and modest 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.
Our 2023-2028 Corporate Plan will be published at the end of March. If you would like a draft version of the plan, please email email@example.com to request one.
Implementation of levy changes
As with any regulatory changes, our proposal needs to be approved by Ministers across the four Government administrations. Following industry consultation, we have outlined the process before any potential changes can happen. All dates are subject to change.
- Findings of the first phase of consultation will inform the final content of the Statutory Instrument, which we expect will be consulted on via publication in the London Gazette in summer 2023.
- Once 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.
- Future levy reviews are planned every 5 years. This is reflected in our Framework Agreement with Government.
We will communicate the outcome of the consultation and confirmed timings when we know more in the summer of 2023.
As a public body, Seafish is required to undertake regular reviews. Over the last 18 months, the Seafish Board, in collaboration with the four UK Government administrations, carried out a review into the future of Seafish.
The review was informed by consultation with the seafood industry. This was done through a series of workshops and online consultation with our seafood industry stakeholders.
There were three clear outcomes from the consultation:
- There is an overwhelming need for Seafish to keep supporting the seafood industry to thrive.
- A clear steer on the highest priorities for industry right now. There was also acknowledgment that the organisation was spread too thin and we need to focus on where we can have the most impact.
- Industry acknowledged that, to move forward with purpose and ambition, we need to be funded to deliver the support they need. This includes a reform to the levy.
Our 2023-2028 Corporate Plan will reflect the outcome of the strategic review. For more detail on the review, visit the link below:
Get in touch
For any questions or queries about the levy consultation, please get in touch using the email address below: