Welsh minister for the environment, energy and rural affairs Lesley Griffiths warned a no-deal scenario would see the industry requiring catch certificates for import and export between the UK and EU.
The Welsh Government is to hold a series of Brexit and Fisheries roadshow events over the coming week, aimed at helping the industry prepare for Brexit, share information and provide support about what documents and certificates are needed in a post-Brexit world.
Hopes and fears
Griffiths voiced her hopes for a Brexit scenario where a deal was struck and that a devastating no-deal scenario be avoided at all costs.
“However, we need to plan ahead for all eventualities and our fishers need to be prepared for a no-deal Brexit,” she added. “That is why they need to be aware of the processes they need to undertake to be able to transition smoothly to doing business outside of the EU.
“Our forthcoming roadshow events will help the fishing industry know what they need to do to prepare and help put them in a position to adapt to the changing markets. I urge all fishers to come along and find out more.”
A new IT system to process and issue export catch certificates – and other supporting documentation – is being developed to help streamline the process.
Exporters will receive full instructions on how to register and use the new system before the UK leave the EU. Import catch certificates will continue to be processed through the current paper-based system.
Meanwhile, the four UK farming unions have joined forces to issue an appeal to MPs to take action to avoid a no-deal Brexit situation.
In a joint letter to all MPs, National Farmers Union (NFU) Scotland, NFU England and Wales, NFU Cymru and Ulster Farmers’ Union, warned that a no-deal scenario would have “catastrophic impacts for the food and farming sector”.