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Fisheries & Seafood | 30th June 2021

Digitising the control of fishery product imports - A panorama of the systems in place in the EU and ways forward
Fisheries & Seafood
Protecting species
Oceans

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Digitising the control of fishery product imports - A panorama of the systems in place in the EU and ways forward

The EU aims to prevent fishery products originating from IUU (illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing) sources from entering the EU market.

To achieve this, the IUU Regulation requires flag States that export seafood to the EU to certify the origin and legality of the fish with the use of a catch certificate. This catch certification scheme is one of the cornerstones of the IUU Regulation.

Member States importing fishery products must validate the catch certificates that accompany imports and refuse importation when a catch certificate does not meet certain conditions.

To aid verification, some Member States have established IT tools allowing them to digitise and automate the process, thus making it more efficient than the original paper-based procedure. In this report, we describe IT tools established by six Member States. We compare the systems, perform a rough evaluation of the tools and recommend desirable features. The comparison shows the lack of level playing field within the EU.

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