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Angling Trust Advice Note: Taking fishing bait into the EU

09 June 2021

The Angling Trust has issued advice to anglers planning to fish in Europe on taking fishing bait abroad in the wake of Brexit.

The decision to leave the European Union on 31st December 2020 has impacted on the movement of people and goods from Britain into the EU including anglers wanting to take their own bait with them on holiday.

Unfortunately, baits such as boilies contain sufficient fish, animal or plant products to require them to have a European Health Certificate. The process of obtaining this certification is time consuming and costly so we have examined ways by which anglers can get the bait they need to have an enjoyable and productive fishing trip.

The Problem

The guidance from the Animal Plant Health Agency (part of DEFRA) makes clear that anglers taking bait made from animal or plant products would be classed as exporters to the European Union even if the bait was for personal use. Under EU rules it is therefore the responsibility of the angler to ensure relevant certification is completed as opposed to the manufacturer. The determining authority as to whether any certification is required and what volumes would be allowed is the Border Control Post (BCP) at your point of entry into the EU.

Should certification be required by the BCP this will involve completing a European Health Certificate which can be found here  and certified by an Official Vet in the UK which will come at a cost. Unless you are considering taking large quantities of bait for use by a number of anglers we would not recommend seeking certification.

Should you decide to opt for certification we would strongly recommend that you contact the relevant BCP prior to travel for advice and that you record the name and details of the officer that advises you.

Exemptions

We have reproduced the relevant regulation in full below and you can see that they allow for a sealed packet of bait weighing up to 2 kilos to be brought in per person. Therefore an angler travelling with non-fishing guests or family members may be able to take sufficient bait for a short trip. However, this is unlikely to solve the problem for most fishing holidays. We would recommend that you print a copy of this and take it with you to show BCP officials should you be stopped and inspected in the event that they are not aware of this exemption.

Solutions

The major bait companies are alive to the problem and some have now set up distribution centres in the EU so that they can export in bulk to offset certification costs. You can therefore contact these manufacturers for details of how you can purchase and collect your bait once you have arrived in the EU.

We recommend that prior to travel you contact your bait manufacturer to see if they have retail / distribution centres in the EU that you can pre-order and pick up on your way to your venue. Alternatively, they may offer a delivery service.

Some of the more popular fisheries also provide a bait service so another option would be to contact the fishery you are visiting to see if they can pre-order bait for you when you arrive.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will update this Advice Note if anything changes.

Copy of relevant regulation allowing for a sealed packet of bait weighing up to 2 kilos to be taken into the EU:

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2122

The introduction of meat and meat products, milk and dairy products is prohibited. Only products of animal origin, compounds, derivatives of animal by-products, plants, plant products and other objects that are part of the personal luggage of passengers and are intended for personal consumption or use will be exempt from official controls at border control posts if they belong to at least one of the following categories:

a) Provided that their combined weight does not exceed 2 kg: Powdered milk and infant foods, special foods necessary for medical reasons, provided that they do not need to be refrigerated before opening, are commercially packaged and intended for direct sale to the consumer and are in intact packaging (unless they are being consumed). Pet food necessary for health reasons, provided that it is intended to be consumed by the animal that accompanies the passenger, long-lasting and commercial brand packaged and intended for direct sale to the consumer, and is in intact packaging (except if they are being consumed)

b) Fresh gutted fish products, prepared products or processed fish products, if their combined weight does not exceed 20 kg or, if it is greater than that limit, the weight of a fish

c) Goods not listed in a) and b) or in part 2 of Annex I of Regulation (EU) 2019/2122, if their combined weight does not exceed 2 kg

d) Fishery products from the Faroe Islands or Greenland

e) Goods, other than planting vegetables and fishery products, from the Faroe Islands or Greenland, if their combined weight does not exceed 10 kg

See Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2122 for animals and goods exempted from official controls at border control posts, specific controls on passengers’ personal luggage and on small consignments of goods sent to natural persons which are not intended to be placed on the market.

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