Wednesday 31 March 2021
The Bailiwick of Guernsey has agreed to extend its interim fishing authorisation regime which allows for certain French vessels to fish in Bailiwick waters following the UK's exit from the EU.
It had been anticipated that a new licensing regime, established using a track record period in accordance with the new UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement ('the TCA'), would be in effect by 1 April 2021. This technical work is ongoing. The European Commission has requested a three-month extension to the interim regime to allow additional time to resolve the last remaining technical issues before the new regime can be brought into force.
Following this request, in the spirit of cooperation, the Committee for Economic Development and the Policy & Resources Committee have agreed to extend the interim arrangement by one month to 30 April 2021. This extension can be rolled over one month at a time in May and June only, ending by 30 June 2021. This will allow the interim arrangement to end early and be replaced by the licensing regime if the remaining issues are resolved earlier.
Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, Policy & Resources Committee lead for external relations, said:
"The decision to extend the interim licensing regime provides certainty for French fishing vessels while the final remaining technical issues are being resolved. The extension recognises the interests of the domestic fleet by retaining the ability to move to the full TCA licensing regime sooner, if this is possible. Discussions are ongoing between the Bailiwick, UK and EU to ensure that this work can be concluded as soon as possible. We continue to have a constructive relationship with neighbouring authorities in Normandy and La Manche and I look forward to discussing arrangements to reopen access to Diélette once the TCA licensing regime is in place."
Deputy Neil Inder, President of the Committee for Economic Development, added:
"It is important that we maintain a stable economic relationship for the fishing industry in and around the Bailiwick. We are dependent on trade both in terms of access to waters and in terms of access to ports and EU markets. The TCA seeks to balance these interests and interrelationships. We look forward to the full implementation of the TCA licensing regime in order to ensure that we can focus on the operation of the new fisheries relationship and provide certainty to both the Bailiwick and the French fishing industry in the region."