Preparing your business for EU Exit

The UK’s exit from the EU will have a considerable impact on the seafood industry, and it’s likely to take some time before we can fully understand the what, why and how associated with UK withdrawal.

However, there is no organisation better placed than Seafish to help the industry manage the impact of the UK leaving the EU. Our approach to EU exit is simple, pragmatic and non-partisan. We are working in partnership with the seafood industry and with other relevant stakeholders – including government at UK and devolved level – to interpret and understand the changing landscape, identifying risks and promoting opportunities. 

The Seafish Regulation Team has compiled a practical, user-friendly and accessible guide for the UK seafood industry on preparing your business for EU exit. We focus on addressing the numerous regulatory FAQs surrounding food safety, traceability and trade linked to the UK’s exit – whether that be with a withdrawal agreement in place, or a ‘no deal’ scenario.

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 in the event of a ‘deal’ or ‘no deal’ being reached between the UK and EU.

After originally proposing exit day as 29 March 2019, Parliament extended the deadline to 12 April 2019. On 11 April 2019 a further extension to the period was agreed with the European Council resulting in a Statutory Instrument defining exit day as 31 October 2019. Subsequent parliamentary developments have resulted in the European Council granting an additional extension, now defining exit day as 31 January 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 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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