Fisheries

The EU's fisheries control system

The EU's fisheries control system

The EU's fisheries control system

To ensure that the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy are followed in practice, the policy also includes a control system with the necessary tools to enforce them.

Inspections at sea are costly and resource intensive. The European Union contributes to the cost of enforcement. copyright CFCA

To ensure that the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy are followed in practice, a control system has been designed to:

  • monitor that only the allowed quantities of fish are caught and combat illegal fishing
  • allow data collection for managing fishing opportunities
  • clarify the respective roles of EU countries and the Commission
  • ensure harmonized application of rules and sanctions across the EU
  • enable tracing and checking of fisheries products throughout the supply chain, from net to plate.

The current rules are laid down in the Control Regulation from 2010 and which thoroughly modernised the EU's approach to fisheries control. In particular, it brought the system into line with the strong measures which the EU had adopted in 2008 to combat illegal fishing.

Commission's proposal to revise the fisheries control system

After the evaluation of the current control system the Commission decided to initiate a revision of the fisheries control system.

The Commission proposal to revise the fisheries control system was adopted on 30/05/2018. The Commission decided to propose a number of changes to the Control Regulation, as well as targeted amendments to the Regulation on illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing and to the EFCA founding Regulation.  The overall objective of the revision is to modernise, strengthen and simplify the EU fisheries control system and to increase the level playing field in fisheries controls.

REFIT evaluation of the fisheries control system

On 24 April 2017 the European Commission has published its evaluation of the fisheries control regulation.

The report shows that Member States have generally been compliant with the main obligations set by this regulation, which remains a key pillar for delivering on the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy. The Commission however concluded that its full implementation lacks behind in many member states, creating sometimes uneven situations within the EU.

Although the regulation simplified and rationalised the previous system, the evaluation highlighted a number of shortcomings in the current text, which hinder its full effectiveness.

Since its adoption in 2009, the fisheries control regulation tackled the main issues identified in the previous system and contributed to step up the overall level of compliance with the Common Fisheries Policy. It also helped improving communication and data sharing among the various stakeholders, ensuring better quality and quantity of fisheries data, as well as fostering the level playing field among operators.

However, although much was achieved, full compliance with the legal framework is yet to be ensured. Shortcomings in the implementation mainly concern sanctions and point system, follow up of infringements, data exchange and data sharing, traceability, but also monitoring and catch reporting tools for vessels below 12 metres. In addition, the lack of clarity in some provisions and the numerous exemptions are considered to hamper the effectiveness of the entire fisheries control system.

The evaluation revealed that the Fisheries Control Regulation is not entirely coherent with the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, which introduced new objectives and legal obligations, as for instance the landing obligation. Synergies with other policies, such as environment, would also need to be reinforced.

The Inception Impact Assessment was open for feedback in October 2017.

External study supporting the impact assessement 

Stakeholder consultation

Legislation and official documents

Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009, and amending Council Regulations (EC) No 768/2005, (EC) No 1967/2006, (EC) No 1005/2008, and Regulation (EU) No 2016/1139 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards fisheries control

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2015/1962 of 28 October 2015 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 404/2011 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy.

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL Implementation and evaluation of Regulation (EC) 1224/2009 establishing a Union control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy as required under Article 118 REFIT Evaluation of the impact of the fisheries regulation

C(2012) 1433:  Guidelines for the deduction of quotas under Article 105(1), (2) and (5) of Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009

Corrigendum to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 404/2011 of 8 April 2011 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) No 404/2011 
of 8 April 2011 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy

Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy, amending Regulations (EC) No 847/96, (EC) No 2371/2002, (EC) No 811/2004, (EC) No 768/2005, (EC) No 2115/2005, (EC) No 2166/2005, (EC) No 388/2006, (EC) No 509/2007, (EC) No 676/2007, (EC) No 1098/2007, (EC) No 1300/2008, (EC) No 1342/2008 and repealing Regulations (EEC) No 2847/93, (EC) No 1627/94 and (EC) No 1966/2006

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1010/2009 of 22 October 2009 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing