15. The European Commission has asked all third countries (flag states) to provide a formal notification of its competent authorities that will be implementing this regulation (e.g. validating catch certificates).
16. Imports from third countries that do not provide this notification, or whose notification is deemed insufficient by the European Commission, will not be permitted entry to the EU.
17. The Commission has published a provisional list of those countries which have made this notification on its website. This can be found at:
18. NOTE: The notification only refers to the flag states of the vessel which caught the fish. Importers are strongly advised to ensure they know the nationality of the vessels which provide the fish to be imported, and that these countries are on the Commission's list.
19. In addition, certain countries have notified the Commission that, as they do not have sea-going fishing vessels under their flag catching fish for direct or indirect export to the EC, they will not be participating in the catch certificate scheme. These countries therefore have not notified their competent authorities to the Commission. Exports of fish and fishery products are still permitted from these countries where the fish is caught by a fishing vessel of another flag. These countries are set out at the end of the list of notifying countries.
The EC IUU Catch Certificate
20. The format of the catch certificate is laid down in Annex II of the Council Regulation (1005/2008).
21. Third countries will produce their own certificates but these must contain all the information listed on the EC catch certificate template, so they are likely to be similar in general appearance.
22. Catch certificates must be in one of the official Community languages. However, if the UK authorities carrying out checks are unable to read the catch certificate, they may request the importer to provide a version in English. It is in your interest to provide a catch certificate in English wherever possible, to avoid any delays in the import process.
EC Bilateral Agreements with third countries
23. A number of third countries have signed bilateral agreements with the European Commission to use their own control and traceability systems to generate and confirm the information provided on catch certificates. As part of those agreements, the Commission have agreed specific formats of the catch certificate. In some cases the format will be simpler than that set out at Annex II to the regulation.
24. So far the following countries have signed such agreements:
- New Zealand
- Faroe Islands
25. Examples of these catch certificates will be included in a new Commission Regulation, which will be published in early 2010.