Preparing your business for the end of the UK's Transition Period

Following the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement by the UK and EU Parliaments, the UK formally left the EU at 23:00 on 31st January 2020, entering into an eleven-month ‘Transition Period’ which closes on 31st December 2020.

We do not yet know the exact nature of the changes that will occur when the Transition Period ends - for example to what extent the regulatory landscape will alter, or the provisions of future international trade agreements. However, there is no organisation better placed than Seafish to help the industry going forward. 

Our approach is simple, pragmatic and non-partisan. We continue to respond to issues raised with us by businesses and individuals and work in partnership with industry, UK government, devolved administrations and other organisations to prepare the seafood sector for the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. 

The Seafish Regulation Team has compiled a practical, user-friendly and accessible guide for the UK seafood industry on preparing your business for the end of the Transition Period: we focus on addressing the numerous regulatory FAQs surrounding food safety, traceability and trade.

During the Transition Period, the UK will no longer be a member of the EU’s political structures, but will remain in the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union and Common Fisheries Policy. 
EU rules will therefore continue to apply. In practice, the UK will continue to trade as if it is still an EU member state until the end of 2020, with no changes to current import/export practices. 

Please note the guide does not cover issues arising from the UK’s future relationship with the EU – we concentrate specifically on the day-to-day scenarios likely to be encountered by industry beyond the close of the Transition Period (31st December 2020).

This is very much a ‘living’ guide and will routinely be reviewed and amended as circumstances evolve.

To contact the Seafish Regulation team, email

This webpage was last updated on 13 February 2020. 


This document was last updated on 1 November 2019.

1.1 Will there still be different rules across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland? +

1.2 What status will the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have in regard to the UK seafood industry? +

1.3 What status will EU scientific bodies such as EFSA etc. have? +

1.4 When EU legislation is rolled over to become UK law, what will happen to legislation in force but not currently applicable? +

1.5 Where will I be able to view the applicable legislation after exit day? +

1.6 What does ‘falling back on WTO rules’ mean? What impact would this have? +

1.7 What is the status of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)? +

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