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Fishing vessels registered as a food business

If you catch fish and/or harvest live shellfish and have not previously registered your fishing vessel, you must now register it.

This will enable you to then be issued with an Export Health Certificate to export fish, fish products, and shellfish to the EU or if you supply any of these for human consumption.

Inspecting fishing vessels is not new. But it's recognised that this has historically been a low priority for local authority officers.

However, the direct link between fishing vessel inspection and export health certification following the UK s exit from the EU, has raised the importance and urgency of the issue. 

A knock-on effect also has been that some businesses within the UK market which you supply may request evidence of your registration before accepting your catch.

Export Health Certificates cannot be issued if fish or shellfish have been landed from an unregistered vessel.


All food businesses operating in the New Forest are legally required to register the business.

You should do this 28 days before starting to trade.

There is no fee for registration.

Fishing vessels should be registered with, and inspected by, the local authority at their home port, as this is where most vessels will operate from.

The inspection is very simple and should take no longer than 30 minutes. 

We look at:

  • hand washing facilities on board
  • the general structure
  • the handling of the catch prior to and during transfer to shore

There are exemptions from registration, you do not need to register your vessel as a food business if you are only carrying out:

  • primary production for private domestic use and or;
  • the domestic preparation, handling or storage of food for private domestic consumption

If you sell your vessel and or close your business you should inform us within 28 days.

List of registered fishing vessels 

The following vessels have registered as food businesses with us and have been inspected to check that they comply with food law requirements as at 22/06/2022:

  • Little Sister II
  • Heron
  • Gunners Glory
  • Extreme
  • Elizabeth Shaun
  • Sam Tori
  • Obsession
  • Inspiration
  • Florence
  • Imolia

Contact details

You can contact us for advice on registering your fishing vessel using the details below.


Phone: 02380 285411

Food and Safety Team
New Forest District Council
Appletree Court
Beaulieu Road
SO43 7PA

Our office hours are:

Monday to Thursday: 8.45am to 5.15pm

Friday: 8.45am to 4.45pm



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