Marine Scotland and Seafish webinar series

Marine Scotland and Seafish have prepared a series of webinars to help seafood businesses prepare for changes to import and export processes for trade with the EU that will come into effect from 1 January 2021 when the Implementation Period ends.

Marine Scotland and Seafish have prepared a series of webinars to help seafood businesses prepare for changes to import and export processes for trade with the EU that will come into effect from 1 January 2021 when the Implementation Period ends. The materials for the first two webinars – on the requirements of importing and exporting of live and non-live products – have been made available. Please note that as 1 January 2021 is drawing closer, we decided to send out these materials promptly. Unfortunately, this means some of the more complex questions remain outstanding. We aim to answer them quickly as we are able and update the attached documents.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that these webinars, and the attached material were conducted on the basis that a Free Trade Agreement between the UK and the EU is not reached, or any agreement that is reached doesn’t remove any of the processes outlined. As such these materials are accurate as of now but will be subject to the outcomes of any Free Trade agreement between the EU and the UK.

During November the Scottish Government in collaboration with Seafish held a series of webinars to highlight changing processes associated with the importing and exporting of seafood and aquatics. The answers below seek to address questions raised during these webinar sessions, that weren’t satisfactorily answered at the events. These answers should be considered as guidance only and may be subject to change as further details regarding the UK-EU import/export regime and any negotiated free trade agreement is established

Importing and Exporting non live Seafood – 9 November 2020

Q1) What EU address do you use if your sending boxes with ice not packed like other food products to the European Union?

A) The labelling requirements are driven by the importer, in this case the European Union. The address used will normally be that of the person(s) responsible for the load. If you use an import agent, then it is likely their address will be the most appropriate to use. 

Q2) Does EHC 8270 include value added fish products such as breaded fish?

A) EHC 8270 is the fisheries products EHC. Breaded fish would be classed as a “composite product” and we advise that the EHC for a composite product should be used in this circumstance (EHC 8281).

Q3) Is it acceptable to put address label on a pallet of boxes making up an order/consignment or does it need to be on each individual box? The issue is you may have stock of boxes with a standard label with ID mark but at point of pack you may not know the customer so would need to be labelled at the export hub.

A) Labelling requirements are determined by the importing country, and we are currently waiting clarity from the European Commission on labelling requirements. Generally speaking one should ensure that the commercial documentation is able to confirm the consignment details.

Q5) Are ISPN pallets what used to be called euro pallets?

A) Euro pallets refers to a standard size of pallets (1200x800 mm). A euro pallet might or might not be heat treated, the user needs to check that the pallet has the ISPM15 treatment mark on the pallet regardless of size.

Q6) Do salmon harvesting vessels have to be approved the same as fishing vessels?

A) This question remains outstanding.

Q7) If we print customer address on boxes, and they cancel order can we reprint label for another customer at an export hub?

A) The labelling information must be accurate, regardless of where the label is printed. If additional printing is required at the hub, that is a conversation to have with the operator of the hub you are using.

Importing and Exporting live Seafood – 18th November 2020

Q8) What is the approval process for Vivier lorries?

A) The decision as to whether a Vivier lorry needs approval lies 100% with the LA as the competent authority. Firstly, there will have to be an application made by the FBO, which might be the Vivier lorry owner which will then be assessed by the LA as any other application for approval is. FSS provides guidance to Local Authorities (via the Scottish National Protocol). Ultimately each application will be assessed on its own individual merit, as to whether an approval activity takes place (e.g. packaging, grading etc.)

Q9) Many Vivier lorries operate by picking up consignments on the way. If properly identified and secured additional consignments can be collected provided they also have EHCs – is this the case?

A) Provided the Vivier lorry is approved (853/2004) this would be the case. If the Vivier lorry is NOT approved (853/2004) then at some point, whether the lorry is picking up at multiple sites throughout the UK, then it will have to go via an 853/2004 promises – probably within the competence of the LA at the final pick up.

Q10) How it would work with a Spanish registered company lorry/drivers travelling into the UK with a UK registered trailer to swap with UK vivier trailer and then going back out through France/Spain *Still to answer*

Q11) How much of Scotland's waters are currently unclassified, and will there be a move to classify them? This will have a huge impact on some fleet segments

A) Scotland’s waters can be classified in relation to water quality. Live Bivalve Molluscs from class A waters are fit for human consumption, molluscs from class B or C require further treatment (depuration for class B) or heat treatment (Class B or C) before they can be considered fit for human consumption. Most classified area of Scotland’s waters occur in inshore areas, and classification can change depending on the season and are subject to a monitoring regime, undertaken by FSS. The Scottish scallop industry uses wide ranging offshore areas to fish in, and these areas are currently not classified. There is no legal requirement for them to be classified, and verifying the classification given through a monitoring regime would be a resource intensive exercise. As scallop fishing areas are mostly offshore, and therefore located away from point source or general contamination from land and are a mobile species, area based management measures, such as water classification are not considered the most suitable tool for ensuring their fitness for human consumption.  There is currently no move planned to classify offshore waters used for scallop dredging.

Q12) To register Vivier lorries, Is it just the trailer or is it the whole rig hat needs to register for approval? There are many instances where the trailers are shipped but not the tractor

A) See answer to question 8. You must make an application to your Local Authority and they will contact you to assess the application and make a decision. It is important to realise, that just because one makes an application to be an approved (853/2004) food premises that it may/may not be granted. Please discuss with your Local Authority the processes which are occurring on the Vivier lorry which could warrant approval.

Q13) Would testing be required for every batch of scallops exported or would regular end product testing be sufficient?

On the assumption this question was referring to the “rapid test”, then this, as you know, will only be an “indicative test” and (probably) not enough to support the exact requirements of Reg (EC) 853/2004. This is something FSS/FSA are discussing with DEFRA colleagues and will very much depend on the nature of any trade deal in terms of fine details such as this. Ultimately, the EC would have to take a view on such matters. The UK (as the exporting country) must comply and adhere to the requirements of the importing country (in this case the EU bloc).

Q14) For lorries landing direct from boats to Vivier lorries at motorway service stations in middle of night, are EHOs/Vets able to meet the Vivier lorries at these places, often in the middle of the night or does industry need to change modus operandi?

A) It would be prudent for your businesses to take stock and alter its modus operandi accordingly and we recommend that you discuss your certification requirements with the relevant Local Authority. At some point an EHC will have to be signed for and the certifying officer will have to be in full sight of attestations (potentially from a number of other LAs) before he/she can sign the certificate. Without an EHC the consignment will not be able to be exported.

Q15) If the approved Vivier trailer collects from different areas but it has only approved by one Local Authority (Shetland for example) can they collect from other areas? Do they need approval from each Local Authority they collect from?

A) This is a complicated question. The Vivier lorry (if approved) can take consignments from other LA areas. However we currently understand that the EHC would need to be signed by the LA certifying officer from the final pick up – and in order to do so he/she would also have to be provided with attestations from all Local Authorities on the route in order for the EHC to be signed. Without the EHC the consignment would not be able to be exported. It is highly likely that, going forward, industry will have to work very closely with, and agree a mutual working relationship with Local Authorities.

Q16) Please provide some advice regarding exporting of a cooked crab product. The supply chain is as follows:

  • Crab caught in UK waters and landed in Orkney
  • Crab from multiple catches and multiple vessels is then mixed and processed together to remove meat and is then subsequently pasteurised
  • We receive the processes crab meat and then further process potentially mixing different batches. The product goes through further pasteurisation stage in final pack and is shipped to the retailer hub who will then be the exporter to NI and France.
  • The retailer would be looking to use GEFS to assign an EHC to the product. A catch certificate would be almost impossible as the final product will contain product from multiple catches. Would we only need to a Processing statement and Attestation to support the EHC?

Response Requested.

Q17) What happens when I load a Spanish vivier truck here in the highlands, and they then pick up from other companies?  Does each company need to give a Health Certificate?  With it being my goods on the Spanish Vivier, am I responsible for Custom Declarations?  Do Catch Certificates need to be done even if there is a deal done?  We also sell to other companies in Scotland, who then export the goods, what paperwork do they need to receive from us?

A) We recommend that specific questions relating to customs declarations are directed at HMRC. HMRC have produced some guidance in the links below. The Scottish Government is not responsible for their content. In relation to Export Health Certificates, please refer to answer Q15. What will/will not be required to export to the EU is subject to the outcome of the ongoing UK-EU Free Trade Negotiation, including Catch Certificates. We are currently working on the assumption that any UK-EU FTA won’t remove the need to complete Catch Certificates and therefore suggest you register with the Fish Exports Service.

HMRC have recently provided us with several links that may be useful I have included these below. 

HMRC YouTube

Step-by-step guides

On YouTube:

Trading live fishery product presentation
Trading non-live fishery production presentation
Nephrops product journey paper


If you would like further information on this webinar series, please contact: and provide your company name and e-mail address.

Back to top