Financial support for UK’s fishing businesses that export to the EU
January 26, 2021
New financial support for the UK’s fishing businesses that export to the EU
Seafood exporters across the UK will receive government funding of up to £23 million, to support businesses which have been most adversely affected by the COVID pandemic and the challenges of adjusting to new requirements for exporting.
This is in recognition of the unique circumstances of the fishing sector, which has had the most significant new requirements to adjust to, and for whom even a short delay can lead to goods perishing – at a time when the industry is facing lower market prices and demand due to the pandemic.
The fund will be targeted at fishing export businesses who can evidence a genuine loss in exporting fish and shellfish to the EU. Support will be available immediately and paid retrospectively to cover losses incurred since 1 January 2021. The scheme will be targeted at small and medium enterprises and the maximum claim available to individual operators will be £100,000.
The Marine Management Organisation will administer the scheme on behalf of exporters across the UK. More details will be available on eligibility criteria in the coming days. The Government will be consulting industry across the UK and working with the devolved administrations on these eligibility criteria before they are confirmed.
In addition to funding, the UK Government will provide further support to businesses in adapting to new export processes. Defra and HMRC will be offering targeted, proactive and hands on support to fisheries exporters to help them successfully meet the new requirements. This includes a new training package and focused workshop sessions.
Seafood exports to the EU require specific procedures, customs declarations, Catch Certificates and Export Health Certificates (EHCs) and businesses have adapted to these requirements at speed. As seafood is a perishable product with a ‘just in time’ supply chain, it is important that the sector can export quickly.