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Catch certificates

24.10.2011 // A step forward in combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries is the the catch certificate scheme. On 29 September 2008, the EU adopted a regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fisheries.

In short, the regulation requires a catch certificate for all imports and landings of fish and fish products into the EU by third countries. The EU regulation came into force on 1 January 2010.

Norway has on several occasions reiterated the importance of the EU catch certificate regulation as a means to combat IUU fishing. The regulation is aimed at preventing illegally caught fish entering the EU market – and as a consequence – to negatively influence market competition. After rounds of negotiations during the first half of 2009, the EU and Norway signed an agreement that formalised the Norwegian implementation of the catch certificate requirement in the Regulation. The signing took place on 3 September 2009, whereas the agreement came into force 1 January 2010.In order to implement new catch certificate requirements from the European Commission the Agreement was amended and signed in May 2011, allowing for a new and simplified Norwegian catch certificate. It is expected that the amended Agreed Record and catch certificate will come into force within the forseeable future.

The agreement between Norway and the EU entails that Norway will issue a catch certificate for all Norwegian landings and export shipments to the EU. The agreement also stipulates that Norway will require a catch certificate for landings and imports to Norway of catches made by fishing vessels flying the flag of a Member State of the European Union. The catch certificate requirement for imports into Norway has yet to be implemented.

In accordance with the legal provisions in Havressursloven (2009), it is the respective sales organisations for fish and fish products that issue and validate the catch certificates and related documents in Norway. It is; however, the Directorate of Fisheries that serves as the controlling authority receiving copies of all the issued certificates.

More information about the Norwegian catch certificates, including electronic issuance and approval, can be found at www.catchcertificate.no  

To read more about the catch certificates, please visit the EU Handbook

The Agreed Record between the EU and Norway can be found here.


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