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In the event of the UK leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place, the EU will require UK exporters to provide a Catch Certificate and an Export Health Certificate (EHC) when exporting most fish and fisheries products to the EU. Direct landings made by UK fishing vessels into EU ports will need to be accompanied by a Catch Certificate but will not require an EHC.
Export health certification is a devolved matter. Responsibility for Scottish exports to third countries lies with the Scottish Government. The Animal and Plant Health Authority issues EHCs for Scotland. Charges for signing EHCs vary by local authority and are made on a cost recovery basis. The consolidation of export consignments into larger consignments covered by a single certificate could reduce this cost burden.
The UK Government and the Marine Management Organisation have developed an IT system to allow exporters to obtain a Catch Certificate around the clock at no cost to the exporter. Assuming that the information submitted is correct, the Catch Certificate will be issued immediately without the need for further checks before export.