MMO issue over 2200 fishing vessel licences following UK and EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement

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Following the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK, new fishing licences were issued on New Year’s Eve 2020, ensuring minimal disruption to fishing at the end of the transition period from the EU.

The MMO and other UK fishing administrations issued amended licences for UK vessels, allowing them access to fish in all UK waters.

To fish in other countries’ waters, a separate external waters licence is required. The Agreement allowed the UK Single Issuing Authority (UK SIA) and the EU equivalent body to issue licences enabling UK and EU vessels to fish in each other’s waters between the 12 – 200 nautical mile limits.

The list of vessels licensed to fish in these waters is on the UK SIA website.

Licences to fish in each other’s 6 – 12 nautical mile zones will be issued later once the eligibility criteria has been confirmed and the UK SIA will notify eligible UK vessel owners.

Negotiations continue to agree access to Norwegian, Faroes and other coastal states’ and regional fisheries management organisations’ (RFMO) waters. Until they are concluded, UK vessels cannot access these waters and Norwegian and Faroese vessels cannot access UK waters.

If your vessel does not appear on the published list and you have not received a licence, or wish to apply for one, please visit the UK SIA website or contact

For more information please see the ‘one stop shop’ guide for commercial fishers, merchants and exporters. This signposts to guidance on fishing, landing, exporting, importing, transportation, food hygiene and regulatory controls.

There is also a handy step by step guide to exporting fish and seafood products to the EU, and a checklist for fishers intending to landing their catch directly into the EU.

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