Tag Archives: Common fisheries policy

Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy

Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Organisation and financing of the fisheries sector

Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (Green Paper)

This Green Paper aims to collect the opinions of all persons and organisations affected by the future of the fisheries sector. Despite the measures taken to ensure the sustainable future of the sector, a large number of problems remain, such as overfishing, an increase in seafood imports, Community fleet overcapacity, decreased profitability of the sector and the dependence on public aid. The consultation is the first stage in the process which should lead a radical reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Document or Iniciative

Green Paper of 22 April 2009 – Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy [COM(2009) 163 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The Green Paper shall analyse all facets of the current Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and seek to explain why certain problems persist despite the progress made since the 2002 reform.

Outcomes of the Common Fisheries Policy

The CFP reform provided for a series of measures to ensure the viability of fisheries. The principal measures adopted under the 2002 reform concerned, amongst others:

  • the introduction of multi-annual plans for stock recovery and management;
  • the integration of environmental concerns into fisheries management;
  • establishing Regional Advisory Committees (RACs);
  • the setting of national ceilings to adapt the fishing capacity of fleets to fishing opportunities;
  • limiting the number of days that a vessel can operate at sea;
  • a gradual withdrawal of public funds for the construction or modernisation of fishing vessels, whilst maintaining aid for improving safety and working conditions on board vessels;
  • establishing fisheries agreements aimed at creating partnerships with third countries.

However, the objectives set in 2002 have not been achieved. Today, the Common Fisheries Policy is characterised by overfishing, fleet overcapacity, heavy subsidies, low economic resilience and a decline in the volume of fish caught by European fishermen. A radical change is needed to address these challenges.

Overcoming the five structural failings of the CFP

The depletion of European fisheries stocks is principally the result of fleet overcapacity. Several solutions are being considered to adapt the size of European fishing fleets to the stocks available. The use of transferable rights and/or the creation of a one-off fund could be a solution to this problem. However, accompanying measures aimed at preventing negative effects on smaller-scale fisheries and coastal communities still need to be drawn up.

The lack of clear political objectives, specifically with regard to ecological responsibility and the connection with general maritime issues, is the second weakness of the current CFP. The Green Paper shall consult the public on how to define the objectives in a clear and prioritised manner for decision-making and implementation.

The majority of decisions affecting the CFP are taken at Council level. This decision-making system is over-centralised and focused on short-term solutions, which compromises sustainability in the long-term. To alleviate this problem, decisions could be made jointly by the Council and the Parliament (co-decision procedure), leaving Member States, the Commission and/or the fisheries sector responsible for implementing the decisions. However, in this new system the role of consultative structures (the Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Regional Advisory Committees) should be increased.

The sector lacks responsibility. Therefore a rethink is required on how to give the fisheries sector more responsibility in implementing the CFP, whilst also finding the means of ensuring that the self-management of the industry achieves its goals.

The final structural issue tackled by the Green Paper relates to the absence of political will to ensure compliance. In order to increase compliance with the regulations, the benefits and disadvantages of centralised mechanisms (such as direct Commission action or national/cross-border controls) and de-centralised mechanisms need to be examined by submitting them to consultation.

Improving the management of European Union fisheries

Restoring the productivity of fish stocks is required in order to ensure the economic and social viability of the fisheries sector. In order to improve the management of fisheries, many ideas have been submitted for consultation. These ideas concern:

  • the possibility of introducing a differentiated regime to protect small-scale coastal fleets;
  • the adoption of Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) as a management principle and the introduction of long-term management plans in order to make the most of fisheries;
  • the relative stability of Community quotas and access to coastal fisheries;
  • trade in and the market for fisheries products and aquaculture products;
  • integrating the CFP into the broader context of maritime affairs;
  • scientific knowledge and data for policy decision-making;
  • Community funds for fisheries or national aid measures;
  • managing the fishing activities of Community fleets in non-EU waters in order to extend the principles of sustainable and responsible fishing to the international level;
  • the role of aquaculture in the future CFP.


Although the Commission is only legally required to re-examine some of the dimensions of the CFP before 2012, the current situation, specifically with regard to stocks and fleet overcapacity, has convinced the Commission of the need to begin the reform process.

The consultation will close on 31 December 2009. It will form the basis of a public debate on the drafting of a proposal for a new regulation on the CFP. The latter could be presented to the European Parliament and the Council at the beginning of 2011, with a view to adoption in 2012.

Another Normative about Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Organisation and financing of the fisheries sector

Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 13 July 2011 – Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy [COM(2011) 417 – Not published in the Official Journal].


The reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) will contribute to the Europe 2020 Strategy. In order to do this, it must participate in introducing sustainable and inclusive growth, enhancing cohesion in coastal regions and improving the economic performance of the industry.

The proposals made by the Commission are directed towards sustainability and long-term solutions.

Conservation and sustainability

Through fisheries management that eliminates significant negative effects on other stocks, species and ecosystems, the CFP will contribute to the Good Environmental Status in the marine environment, in line with the provisions of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

The measures adopted as part of the CFP reform should enable maximum sustainable yield (MSY) to be reached by 2015, in accordance with the international undertakings made by the European Union (EU). The highest catch that can be taken must not endanger long-term stocks. On the contrary, it should contribute to maintaining the size of the population at maximum productivity.

The measures envisaged also concern the elimination of discards at sea, long-term management plans based on the best available scientific advice, improving data collection and the availability of complete, reliable data for policy-making.

A future for fisheries and aquaculture

The CFP should make fisheries and aquaculture strong, viable, competitive and attractive industries. In order to increase economic viability and eliminate overcapacity, the Commission proposes to introduce a system of transferable fishing concessions for large vessels. The system should enable some operators to buy rights from other operators wishing to leave the industry. The system requires no public funding. Furthermore, it should enable incomes to be increased and new jobs to be created.

Support measures for small-scale fisheries and sustainable aquaculture could also be developed.

Consumer information

Consumers will be better informed of the quality and sustainability of the products they buy. Labelling may include environmental claims or production techniques.

Fishermen’s organisations will become active stakeholders as regards planning their members’ fishing activities, and will play a more central role in driving and supplying the market, as well as increasing fishermen’s profit margins.

Improving governance through regionalisation

The reform should foster solutions that are adapted to local and regional needs, taking better account of the specific features of the different sea basins. Key decisions concerning the general principles and objectives of the policy will still be taken at EU level. However, Member States will be able to take other fisheries management measures, under Commission control. For reasons of effective management, Member States will in particular be able to adopt technical conservation measures and anti-discard measures and transpose them in their national legislation.

The Commission envisages extending the role of the Advisory Councils when drafting conservation policy under the regionalisation model. Due to the specific nature of aquaculture, the Commission also proposes to create a new Advisory Council for Aquaculture.

Financial support

Public funding should cover all activities. It will be thoroughly simplified and will be linked to compliance with certain conditions (particularly of sustainability) by industry operators. The intervention regime under the Common Market Organisation will also be modernised. From now on, the setting of intervention prices will be decentralised and appropriate in order to avoid the destruction of surplus fish to maintain price levels.

External dimension

EU external actions are aimed at sustainability and safeguarding marine ecosystems. They are mainly based on strengthening cooperation in order to share scientific knowledge and to comply with established rules, in particular concerning the fight against illegal fishing.

The EU must play a stronger role in Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, international organisations and in its relations with third countries.

Sustainable Fisheries Agreements (SFAs) with non-EU countries must focus more on good management of marine resources, improving scientific knowledge and establishing a quality governance framework.


The reform is based on a large-scale public consultation that was completed in late 2010. Contributions from stakeholders were used in drafting the reform, which includes the following:

  • a legislative proposal for a new Regulation defining the main CFP rules [replacing Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002];
  • a legislative proposal concerning a new market policy [replacing Regulation (EC) No 104/2000];
  • a legislative proposal for a new Regulation on the European Fund for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries;
  • a Communication on the external dimension of the CFP; and
  • a report on Council Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002 regarding the chapters Conservation and Sustainability and Adjustment of Fishing Capacity, and on Article 17(2) on fleet access restriction to 12 nautical miles.

Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Maritime Affairs And Fisheries > Management of fisheries resources and the environment

Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

To counteract this very lucrative phenomenon, this Regulation provides for the limitation of access to the European Union (EU) market to only certified fishery products that comply with the rules. Other provisions are to reinforce the surveillance of activities at sea, to identify IUU operators, to enhance the implementation of fisheries legislation and to improve the application of sanctions in the event of infringements.

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 of 29 September 2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, amending Regulations (EEC) No 2847/93, (EC) No 1936/2001 and (EC) No 601/2004 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 1093/94 and (EC) No 1447/1999.


This Regulation establishes a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Community and international waters. The effectiveness of this system depends on the measures adopted by Member States in line with Community legislation.

Fishing vessels engaged in IUU fishing

A fishing vessel shall be presumed to be engaged in IUU fishing if it:

  • does not hold a valid fishing licence;
  • does not provide or record catch data;
  • fishes in a closed area;
  • fishes unauthorised species;
  • uses prohibited or non-compliant fishing gear;
  • falsifies or conceals its identity;
  • falsifies or conceals evidence relating to an investigation;
  • obstructs the work of inspectors;
  • takes on board, tranships or lands undersized fish;
  • participates in activities with vessels included in the IUU vessel list;
  • carries out fishing activities in an area covered by a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO) without complying with the conservation and management measures of that organisation and is flagged to a State not party to that organisation, or not cooperating with that organisation;
  • is a stateless vessel.

Designated ports

Only port facilities designated by Member States of the European Union (EU) are open to vessels from third countries. Transhipments between vessels from third countries and EU vessels are prohibited at sea and shall only take place in designated ports.

Port inspections

The State in whose territory the port is located is responsible for monitoring fishery products imported into the EU. This is in order to attest that the said products are legal and that the vessel complies with the regulations, i.e. it holds the required licences and permits, and complies with fishing quotas.

Catch certificates

The catch certificate guarantees that products imported into the EU do not originate from IUU fishing. These certificates are issued by the flag State. They accompany fishery products throughout the supply chain to facilitate checks.

IUU vessel list and list of non-cooperating third countries

The Commission has established two blacklists. The first includes vessels engaged in IUU fishing and the second the list of States that are lenient towards them. In both cases, the procedures for the establishing of the lists provide for safeguards and appeal arrangements to guarantee the fair treatment of the vessels and States concerned.


Member States shall apply effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions against natural or legal persons engaged in IUU activities. A maximum sanction of at least five times the value of the fishery products obtained is provided for with regard to the committing of the said infringement. In the event of a repeated infringement within a five-year period, the Member States shall impose a maximum sanction of at least eight times the value of the fishery products obtained by committing the serious infringement.

Mutual assistance

Combating IUU fishing implies a strengthening of cooperation between the administrative authorities of Member States as well as with the administrative authorities of third countries and the Commission.

The Commission has created the IUU fishing information system to assist administrative authorities in preventing this type of activity, facilitating investigations and prosecuting offenders.


This Regulation represents (with the Communication which accompanies it) one of the first steps towards an integrated maritime policy. It is part of the Community Action Plan against IUU fishing adopted in 2002 and in line with action carried out at international level (FAO, RFMO) intended to prevent, discourage and eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008


OJ L 286 of 29.10.2008


Annex 1 – List of products excluded from the list of fishery products
Regulation (EC) No 1010/2009 [Official Journal L 280 of 27.10.2009];
Regulation (EU) No 86/2010 [Official Journal L 26 of 30.1.2010];
Regulation (EU) No 202/2011 [Official Journal L 57 of 2.3.2011].

Related Acts

Implementing arrangements

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 [Official Journal L 280 of 27.10.2009].

Authorisation for fishing

Council Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008 of 29 September 2008 concerning authorisations for fishing activities of Community fishing vessels outside Community waters and the access of third country vessels to Community waters, amending Regulations (EEC) No 2847/93, (EC) No 1627/94 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 3317/94 [Official Journal L 286 of 29.10.2008].

Vessels engaged in combating IUU fishing

Commission Regulation (EU) No 468/2010 of 28 May 2010 establishing the EU list of vessels engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing [Official Journal L 131 of 29.5.2010].

Competent authorities for catch certificates

List of Member States and their competent authorities concerning Articles 15(2), 17(8) and 21(3) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008[Official Journal C 320 of 24.12.2009].

Designated ports

List of ports in EU Member States where landings and transhipment operations of fishery products are allowed and port services are accessible for third-country fishing vessels, in accordance with Article 5(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008[Official Journal C 320 of 24.12.2009].

Building a sustainable future for aquaculture

Building a sustainable future for aquaculture

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Building a sustainable future for aquaculture


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Maritime Affairs And Fisheries > Management of fisheries resources and the environment

Building a sustainable future for aquaculture

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 8 April 2009 – Building a sustainable future for aquaculture – A new impetus for the Strategy for the Sustainable Development of European Aquaculture [COM(2009) 162 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Seven years on from the adoption of the strategy for the sustainable development of European aquaculture in 2002, significant progress has been made in ensuring the environmental sustainability and quality of European Union (EU) aquaculture production. However, unlike other regions in the world where high rates of growth have been recorded, the total volume of aquaculture production (mainly fish and shellfish) in the EU overall has stagnated.

In its Communication, the Commission examines the causes of this stagnation and envisages actions which are under the responsibility of public authorities, in order to improve competitiveness, sustainability and governance in the sector.

Barriers to the growth of European aquaculture

The European Union depends more and more on imports of fishery and aquaculture products. Even though European aquaculture benefits from dynamic support in terms of research and technology innovation, advanced equipment and fish feed, qualified and trained entrepreneurs, and operates within a legal framework for environment and health protection, the industry is faced with many challenges. In particular, aquaculture enterprises must have access to the space and water required for production, obtain the associated multiple authorisations, maintain as far as possible the health of fish despite an insufficiency of medicines and vaccines, have access to capital to invest and develop, withstand pressure from imports, etc.

Building the future of the European Union aquaculture industry

It is in the interests of the European Union to better promote this sector and to raise awareness on the part of public authorities and investors. Even if wild stocks of fish recover to Maximum Sustainable Yield levels, the rapidly expanding demand will also have to be met from aquaculture production.

The EU must put in place appropriate measures to ensure that the Community aquaculture industry can take a lead role in the production of aquatic food, technology and innovation, and the setting of standards and certification processes at European and international level. The aim of this Communication is to help bring about the conditions for a successful and sustainable aquaculture industry that can compete successfully in the market.

Public authorities should establish a predictable, consistent and cost-effective legislative framework. In order to be effective, the strategy should be supported by all. Its vision and objectives should be strengthened and relayed by public authorities at national and regional level.

Improving competitiveness, sustainability and governance

In order to increase competitiveness in the sector, it is essential to continue to support research and technological development, to promote spatial planning in coastal zones and take into account the needs of the aquaculture sector as regards the market for fishery and aquaculture products.

To guarantee the sustainable development of aquaculture, the EU must continue to support environment-friendly production methods, but also ensure that aquaculture has access to a high-quality environment particularly in terms of water quality. It must also guarantee animal welfare and health and continue to provide a high level of consumer protection.

It is important to enhance the image of European aquaculture and public authorities should improve aspects related to governance, especially in terms of reducing administrative charges, consulting stakeholders and informing the public.

Aquaculture’s success depends to a great extent on the existence of an environment which is favourable to enterprises in this sector. The Commission therefore proposes to provide Member States and regional authorities with guidance, to ensure that targeted measures taken at local, national and EU level help the sector to fully exploit its assets.

Concerted action at all levels to unlock the potential of the aquaculture sector should offer many advantages. In this regard, the Commission considers that a strong and revitalised aquaculture industry will also benefit related sectors, contribute to the development of rural areas and coastal zones, and could meet the demands of consumers who will have access to high-quality food which is healthy and produced using ecological methods.

Fisheries control system

Fisheries control system

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Fisheries control system


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Maritime Affairs And Fisheries > Management of fisheries resources and the environment

Fisheries control system

The control system applies to all fishing activities in Community waters, and to the fishing activities of Community vessels and European Union nationals in Community and non-Community waters. It also applies to the processing and marketing of fishery products, recreational fishing involving sensitive stocks, and aquaculture.

Document or Iniciative

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.


The restructuring of the Community fisheries control system has modernised the Community system for the control, inspection and execution of common fisheries policy (CFP) measures throughout the marketing chain.Generally, all aspects relating to the control and monitoring of fishing activities have been rendered more effective.

Control and monitoring of fishing activities

Member States are to carry out inspections of activities throughout the production chain for fishery products, in particular landing, processing, transport and marketing. The use of modern inspection technologies such as the Satellite-based Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), electronic logbooks and the electronic notification of catch data has been extended. The collection, processing and analysis of fishing data have been considerably enhanced. A systematic catch weighing system has been introduced. A new system of traceability for fishery products will allow fishery products to be monitored from the vessel to the retailer.

New measures, such as risk analysis largely based on systematic and full cross-checks of all relevant data, aimed at concentrating inspection activities where the risk of illegal behaviour is highest, will strengthen the effectiveness of controls.

Among the other new fields covered by the Regulation is the monitoring of certain criteria of fleet management by Member States, such as fishing capacity and engine power. General standards are established for specific control measures concerning multiannual plans and recovery, restricted fishing areas and discards. The principles of a new system of control observers have been established.

Inspection powers

The Regulation broadens the Commission’s powers of inspection. The Commission can now, under certain conditions, carry out independent inspections without giving prior notice to the Member State concerned.


The Regulation introduces dissuasive sanctions the extent of which is fixed in a harmonised way throughout the European Union (EU) according to the value of the fishery products obtained when a serious offence is committed. The Regulation provides for a system of penalty points for serious offences concerning holders of fishing permits and masters, who will, as a last resort and after several suspensions of the fishing permit, have their permit withdrawn if they have committed a certain number of serious offences. Measures are also laid down against Member States which do not comply with CFP rules and thus endanger fish stocks. These measures include the possibility of suspending or reducing EU financial aid, the closure of fisheries and deduction of quotas.

Cooperation between Member States

The Regulation establishes a system of mutual assistance and systematic information exchange as regards controls between Member States. It also proposes a new approach to managing and communicating data relating to controls through secure national websites with direct remote access for the Commission.

Coordination authority

The Regulation extends the competences of the Community Fisheries Control Agency in order that it may provide more concrete assistance in the uniform implementation of the new control system. When facing a serious risk for the CFP, it may also, if appropriate, set up an emergency unit.

Under the CFP, control and enforcement fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of Member States. The Regulation also reaffirms the distinct roles of the Commission and Member States in order to avoid overlapping and to ensure that the Commission concentrates its efforts on its main activities – controlling and verifying the implementation of CFP rules by Member States. The new Regulation replaces the existing legal framework established in Council Regulation (EEC) No 2847/93.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009


OJ L 343 of 22.12.2009


Specific control and inspection programme

Commission Decision 2010/210/EU of 6 April 2010 amending Decision 2009/296/EC establishing a specific control and inspection programme related to the recovery of bluefin tuna in the Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean [Official Journal L 89 of 9.4.2010].

Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries

Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Organisation and financing of the fisheries sector

Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries

Document or Iniciative

Commission Decision 2005/629/EC of 26 August 2005 establishing a Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries [See amendingact(s)].


The STECF is a standing committee created by the Commission to help it implement the CFP.


It is composed of between 30 and 35 prominent scientific experts in the fields of marine biology and ecology, fisheries science and the economic, statistical and research issues associated with fisheries. They are appointed by the Commission from a list of suitable candidates compiled after the publication of an open call for applications on the Commission website. A list of the STECF’s current members is published in the OJ. They are appointed for three years, renewable on a rolling basis.

After consultation with the competent service of the Commission, the committee can create its own working parties on specific issues.

The meetings of the committee and its working parties may be attended by Commission representatives and external experts.


The meetings of the STECF and its working parties are convened by the Commission and must be approved by it. The Commission consults the STECF at regular intervals, or whenever it considers necessary, on issues related to conservation and management of living aquatic resources. It takes account of the committee’s opinion when making proposals on fisheries management. The STECF can also deliver opinions on fisheries matters to the Commission on its own initiative.

Every year the STECF produces a report on the state of fish stocks and trends in the fisheries industry, highlighting the economic implications of the state of fish stocks. It also makes an annual progress report on the work done to coordinate scientific, technical and economic research in the fisheries and aquaculture sector.

The STECF adopts its internal rules after consultation with the competent service of the Commission. They require the STECF to be guided by the principles of excellence, independence and transparency, while observing confidentiality in tax and commercial matters. These rules are published on the Commission website.

Key terms used in the act
  • Total allowable catch: the maximum quantities of a particular species of fish that may be caught over a particular unit of time in a specific area in a given period.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2005/629/CE


OJ L 225 of 31.8.2005

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2010/74/EU


OJ L 37 of 10.2.2010


Annex – Compensation accorded to STECF members and external experts for the participation in STECF activities

Decision 2010/74/EU [Official Journal L 37 of 10.2.2010].

Advisory committee on fisheries and aquaculture

Advisory committee on fisheries and aquaculture

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Advisory committee on fisheries and aquaculture


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Organisation and financing of the fisheries sector

Advisory committee on fisheries and aquaculture

Document or Iniciative

Commission Decision 1999/478/EC of 14 July 1999, renewing the Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture [See amending act(s)].


This committee gives the main stakeholders in the CFP the opportunity to analyse issues and take common positions. They can also pass on to the Commission their opinions on issues arising from the implementation of CFP legislation.

Structure and composition

The ACFA consists of a committee, a bureau and four working parties:

  • committee – 21 members from a combination of trade bodies representing production, processing and trading of fisheries and aquaculture products and bodies from outside the industry representing the interests of consumers, the environment and development. They are appointed by the Commission on a proposal from the representative bodies in each field for a term of office of three years (renewable);
  • bureau – consisting of the chairs and vice-chairs of the working parties and the chair of the Sectoral Dialogue Committee for fisheries. Its work mainly involves preparing the meetings of the full committee and planning the work of both committee and working parties.
  • working parties – composed of experts representing trade bodies, civil society and scientific and/or economic bodies. Different experts are sent to each meeting from the EU-level organisations in each field, depending on the issues to be discussed. The working parties carry out the preparatory work for the opinion of the full committee.


The committee can be consulted by the Commission. It may also look at issues related to the implementation of CFP legislation, apart from those pertaining to industrial relations, which are dealt with by the Sectoral Dialogue Committee.

The working parties meet at the request of the Commission on the basis of an annual work programme decided jointly by the committee and the Commission. The committee decides the rules for: implementing the work programme, preparing and holding meetings, taking positions or drafting conclusions, formulating the opinions and recommendations prepared in advance by the working parties and the bureau.

Decision 2004/864/EC

This Commission decision changes the structure of the ACFA to reflect the rapid expansion of the EU aquaculture sector in recent years. To give this sector better representation, it expands the committee to include the vice-chair of the working party for aquaculture, taking the number of committee members to 21.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 1999/478/EC


OJ L 187 of 20.7.1999

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 2004/864/EC


OJ L 370 of 17.12.2004

European Fisheries Fund

European Fisheries Fund

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Fisheries Fund


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Organisation and financing of the fisheries sector

European Fisheries Fund

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 of 27 July 2006 on the European Fisheries Fund [See amending act(s)].


The European Fisheries Fund (EFF) shall contribute to realising the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) objectives, which specifically consist of ensuring the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. In order to achieve this, the Fund shall provide financial support aimed at:

  • ensure the long-term future of fishing activities and the sustainable use of fishery resources;
  • reduce pressure on stocks by matching EU fleet capacity to available;
  • promote the sustainable development of inland fishing;
  • help boost economically viable enterprises in the fisheries sector and make operating structures more competitive;
  • foster the protection of the environment and the conservation of marine resources;
  • encourage sustainable development and improve the quality of life in areas with an active fishing industry;
  • promote equality between women and men active in the fisheries sector.


The EFF provides for five priorities:

  • measures to adapt the EU fishing fleet:

    financial assistance can be granted to fishermen and fishing vessel owners affected by the measures taken to combat overfishing or to protect public health to help them temporarily or permanently lay up fishing vessels and to train, re-skill and provide early retirement to fishermen. Vessels that are permanently laid up, in addition to those already due for scrapping, may be reused for other non-fishing activities or for the creation of artificial reefs. The EFF may contribute to improving working conditions, the quality of products, energy yield and catch selectivity. It may also contribute towards replacing engines, providing non-renewable compensation to fishermen affected by permanent cessation of fishing activities and for premiums for young fishermen to buy their first fishing vessel. However, financial assistance may in no circumstances lead to an increase in the catch capacity or the power of the fishing vessel’s engine;
  • aquaculture, inland fishing, processing and marketing:
    the EFF promotes the purchase and use of gear and methods that reduce the impact of aquaculture production on the environment and improve the quality of produce and conditions in terms of human and animal health. Assistance will be limited to micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as certain large enterprises with less than 750 employees or whose turnover is less than EUR 200 million. Priority is nevertheless given to micro and small enterprises;
  • collective action:
    certain collective action could receive aid from the EFF on the condition that they contribute to the sustainable development or conservation of resources, to improving the services offered by fishing ports, to strengthening markets in fishery products and to promoting partnerships between scientists and operators in the fisheries sector;
  • sustainable development of fishing areas: the EFF supports measures and initiatives aimed at diversifying and strengthening economic development in areas affected by the decline in fishing activities.
  • technical assistance: the Fund may finance initiatives involving preparations, monitoring, administrative and technical support, evaluation, audit and checks needed to implement this Regulation.


One of the main objectives of the EFF is to simplify the allocation and management of funding. Member States must send the Commission a strategic plan and an operational programme in order to benefit from assistance under the European Fisheries Fund.

The national strategic plans must set out the national priorities and objectives to implement the CFP. The Commission will organise a debate with Member States by 31 December 2011 to assess the progress made in implementing the strategic plans on the basis of the conclusions of intermediary assessments.

The strategic plans form a basis for the development of operational programmes, which will implement the policies and priorities to be co-financed by the EFF. The Commission approves the operational programmes by issuing a decision, after having checked that they are in line with the objectives of the EFF. If necessary, it may require that the operational programmes be modified.

The operational programmes are subjected to three assessments. Member States are responsible for forecast and interim assessments whilst the Commission carries out the final assessment. The part of the budget reserved for technical assistance may be used to finance these assessments.


The Regulation defines the responsibilities of the Member States and of the Commission concerning the EFF. In particular, Member States are tasked with informing the general public, potential beneficiaries and stakeholders of the opportunities available under the EFF to ensure that the Fund is used in a transparent manner and to underline the role of the EU.

Financial framework

The EFF has a budget of €4 304 million for the period 2007-13. Over that period the Commission proposes to allocate on average €615 million per year to the Member States who have decided to benefit from EFF aid (all the Member States except for Luxembourg).

The amounts are divided between the Member States according to the size of their fisheries sector, the number of people working in the sector, the adjustments considered necessary for the fishing industry and continuity of the measures in hand.

Except for certain expenditure incurred by the Commission that is 100 % covered by the EFF, the maximum contribution of the EFF is always calculated as a proportion of the total sum of all public expenditure. It varies according to the priority of the initiative and will be higher for the most disadvantaged regions and for the new Member States, i.e. those covered by the new “convergence” objective under the Structural Funds. The intensity of public aid authorised for each operation financed also varies according to the same parameters (see Annex II to the Regulation).

The Regulation sets the rules governing eligibility of expenditure (Article 55), financial management, financial corrections, budgetary appropriations and reimbursement. It establishes a Committee of the European Fisheries Fund to assist the Commission in managing the EFF.

The Union’s contribution cannot exceed the public contribution or the maximum amount of EFF assistance for each priority axis and each objective. However, derogations may be granted upon request in writing by a Member State and under certain conditions (see Article 76).

Management, monitoring and control

Each Member State must appoint the following bodies before requests for payment can be submitted:

  • a managing authority for the programme to select and monitor initiatives to be financed;
  • a certification authority to verify that expenditure complies with EU rules;
  • an audit authority to verify the proper functioning of the managing and certification authorities;
  • a monitoring committee, which a representative of the Commission participates in for advisory purposes and which assesses progress in reaching the objectives of the operational programme.

Each year the managing authorities must send the Commission an annual report, to which the Commission replies with its comments. The Commission summarises these reports in its annual report which it sends to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. The Member States must also send a final report on the implementation of the operational programme before 31 March 2017.


for fisheries programming under the Financial Perspective for the EU for the 2007-13 period, replacing the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG).

Like the other European Funds, the EFF reflects the principles of the new approach for simplification, transparency, strategic planning and greater responsibility for the Member States in selecting and implementing the Funds. The EFF is one of two instruments for expenditure incurred under the CFP.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006


OJ L 223 of 15.8.2006

Amending Act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No. 387/2012


OJ L 129 of 16.5.2012

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 have been incorporated into the original text.

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2008/693/EC of 13 August 2008 amending Decision C(2006) 4332 fixing an annual indicative allocation by Member State for the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013 of the Community commitment appropriations from the European Fisheries Fund.

Improving decision-making in Community fisheries management

Improving decision-making in Community fisheries management

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Improving decision-making in Community fisheries management


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Organisation and financing of the fisheries sector

Improving decision-making in Community fisheries management

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication to the Council and European Parliament of 24 May 2006: “Improving consultation on Community fisheries management” [COM(2006) 246 final – not published in the Official Journal].


The Commission would like to change the timing of the decisions taken on fishing opportunities. The changes are designed to organise consultation earlier to improve the quality of decision-making.

The advisory and management system for fisheries was devised at the inception of the common fisheries policy in the early 1980s.

The Council Regulation laying down the total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas available to the Member States is based on a proposal from the Commission. Up to now, that proposal has always been submitted very late in the year to allow the latest scientific and technical information to be taken into account for laying down the fishing opportunities. The timing of the procedure leaves very little time for consulting stakeholders.

Current procedure

Decisions on fisheries management are taken according to an annual timetable for laying down the fishing opportunities for the Member States and other stakeholders. For most demersal species the timetable is as follows:

  • in September the latest scientific surveys are completed and the data analysed on board the research vessels;
  • in October the scientific data are presented to the Advisory Committee for Fisheries Management of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), which forwards its advice to the European Commission, Norway, Iceland and the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC);
  • in November the Commission analyses the scientific advice and consults, among others, the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) and stakeholders. Negotiations on jointly managed stocks take place with Norway and the other coastal states;
  • in December the Commission adopts its proposal for a fishing opportunities Regulation for adoption by the Council.

This leaves only a very short time for effective and constructive consultation of the fisheries sector. Fisheries management decisions could be better prepared and the scope of the consultations widened.

Optimum use of the harvest rules

The Commission feels that preparation of fisheries management decisions could be improved by applying a management method based on “harvest rules” for determining the decisions on the TACs.

Such harvest rules could include:

  • the variation of the TACs from one year to the next;
  • a reduction of the fishing mortality rate to a sustainable level;
  • adjusting fishing effort (days at sea) in line with fishing mortality rates (the proportion of the fish in the sea that are caught during the year).

Ideally, these rules would be laid down in Council Regulations and would be updated only infrequently. They would cover the main fisheries and fish stocks governed by the common fisheries policy. Such an approach would leave more time for consulting stakeholders on the management principles while the scientific estimates of the precise quantities of fish available are finalised by ICES and the STECF.

For stocks not covered by a long-term plan, the Commission could present its intentions for setting the TACs for the following year as early as April. Based on the trends suggested by the scientific advice from the previous year, this policy statement would set out:

  • a commitment to gradually develop stocks to the most appropriate levels to ensure their sustainable exploitation while providing high yields;
  • TACs and effort levels for the following year to be set in accordance with the rules in recovery plans or long-term management plans, where they exist, or with the principle that fishing mortality should not be increased in any stock where mortality exceeds the level that would lead to high long-term yields;
  • that stocks at similar levels of exploitation or depletion are to be treated similarly;
  • rules on TAC variation, subject to special circumstances that might require more significant change for particular stocks.

On the basis of this policy statement, the Commission would consult the Member States and the Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) during the summer. Stakeholders would have a more strategic role in the fisheries discussions before the Council delivered its opinion, in October, on the strategy proposed by the Commission.

Changing the timing

This new approach calls for a change in the timing of the fishing opportunities decisions.

The Commission has already consulted ICES and the STECF on the timing of the scientific advice, asking whether it could be provided slightly earlier in the year from 2007 onwards. Though providing scientific advice earlier will make the forecasts less precise in some cases, the Commission thinks this would be acceptable.

To change the timing of decisions, the Commission proposes a two-step approach, distinguishing between those fish stocks for which scientific advice on available quantities is available in June and those which are heavily dependent on annual recruitment, i.e. the quantity of juveniles joining the particular stock, which include species that are of major commercial interest and are biologically vulnerable. The proposed timetable is as follows:

  • the first step would be between June and October. ICES and the STECF issue scientific advice on the “June advice” stocks. The Commission presents a proposal for a fishing opportunities Regulation for the “June advice” stocks at the beginning of September following negotiations with the RACs. The Council adopts the TACs for the “June advice” stocks in October;
  • the second step would be between October and December. In this case, the proposed timetable would not be much different from the present timetable. ICES finalises its advice in autumn (possibly as early as September from 2007 onwards) on the “October advice” stocks, which are largely dependent on annual recruitment. The Commission presents its proposal, which does not contain any surprises for stakeholders, in November. The consultations with the fishing sector will already have taken place earlier in the year on the basis of the Commission’s policy statement on stocks not covered by a long-term plan. In December the Council then adopts a fishing opportunities Regulation covering the “October advice” stocks.

The current Community rules are to be re-examined as part of the planned review of the cod recovery plan. Therefore the Commission thinks it should wait until 2007 before proposing a new Regulation on these rules.

Improving the economic situation in the fishing industry

Improving the economic situation in the fishing industry

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Improving the economic situation in the fishing industry


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Competition > Rules applicable to specific sectors > Competition in agriculture and fisheries

Improving the economic situation in the fishing industry

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 9March 2006 on improving the economic situation in the fishing industry [COM(2006) 103 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


In the last few years, the economic situation of many fishing businesses has deteriorated as a result of:

Stagnating or even falling market prices, partly owing to an increase in imports and the development of aquaculture, but primarily because of the concentration of sales in big distribution chains and greater competition between fish and other food products.

Lower fishing yields, because the reduction in fishing capacity has not kept pace with the reduction in fishing quotas for the main demersal and benthic species since the mid 1990s. Reducing vessel tonnage and engine power has failed to stabilise the situation, as this reduction has been offset by the steady increase in the efficiency of fishing vessels, resulting in widespread overfishing. According to an assessment carried out by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), for most of the stocks assessed, overfishing is running at two to five times the level that would generate the maximum sustainable yield. *

An increase in fuel prices between 2003 and 2005, which particularly affected vessels with towed gear. Fuel costs can account for as much as 36 % of the value of landings and can mean operating at a loss. Consequently, crew members who are paid a share of the income generated by the catch have also suffered a loss of income.

At the moment, businesses targeting demersal species and using towed gear are hardest hit.

In the short term, Member States could help fishing businesses facing difficulties by granting aid in accordance with the Guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty.

Rescue aid

Rescue aid is intended solely to keep an ailing business financially afloat for long enough to give it time to look into the possibility of restructuring. It must last no longer than six months, and takes the form of a loan or guarantee, which may be repaid using the support subsequently received in the form of restructuring aid.

Restructuring aid

The Guidelines for the examination of State aid to fisheries and aquaculture allow State aid for modifying, modernising and equipping fishing vessels, subject to the same conditions that apply to Community aid granted under the FIFG.

Other types of aid for modernising and equipping fishing vessels may be allowed in accordance with the Community Guidelines on State aid to firms in difficulty. However, Member States would have to obtain the Commission’s approval for this. Aid should be limited to the minimum necessary, and restructuring must be based on realistic economic assumptions, which form the starting point for a restructuring plan. Furthermore, profitability must be ensured by reducing costs without increasing current overall fishing effort or capacity. The Commission will assess aid for the following investments in fishing vessels on the basis of the extent to which they contribute towards re-establishing the viability of the business concerned:

  • Changing fishing gear for the first time, resulting in a switch to a less fuel-intensive gear;
  • Purchasing equipment to improve fuel efficiency;
  • Replacing the engine with a new engine, which, depending on the size of the vessel and the fishing method, must be either of equal power or less powerful. For trawlers of more than 24 m in overall length, this must be accompanied by a switch to a new, less fuel-intensive fishing method. The Commission will verify the power of new engines of more than 130 kW on the basis of the “NOx certificate”. Any reduction in engine power funded by public aid will be deducted from the national fleet capacity ceilings. If a business operates several vessels, the Commission may agree to apply the reduction in engine power to that business as a whole. Similarly, where national schemes allow for the implementation of a restructuring plan put forward by a group of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Commission may decide to apply the reduction to the group as a whole.

During the time needed to implement these investments on board fishing vessels, State aid for temporary cessation of activities is also allowed. Direct aid to subsidise fuel costs would constitute operating aid, which is incompatible with the Treaty. The fishing sector could, however, set up a contingency fund, but for this fund to be approved by the Commission, guarantees would have to be provided that all public aid would be reimbursed.

Member States should notify the Commission of planned rescue and restructuring aid schemes within two years of the publication of the Communication. The Commission will examine them as soon as possible on the basis of the relevant provisions of the applicable Structural Funds. Within two years of the Commission’s approval of a scheme, Member States should issue their administrative decisions.

In the long term, further action is needed to ensure the recovery of fish stocks and build a positive future for the fishing industry.

Improving fisheries management

Fisheries management could be further improved by:

  • Moving towards maximum sustainable yields (MSY). MSYs were adopted by the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development as a way of achieving stable management of fish stocks by 2015. Furthermore, they would bring economic benefits in terms of predictability of supply and revenue per unit of effort. Since the 2002 reform of the common fisheries policy (CFP), one of its aims has been the recovery of threatened stocks, which is a prerequisite for managing all of the major fisheries at MSY levels (see the Communication on the implementation of MSYs).
  • Ensuring economic management of fisheries. The Commission will publish a Communication on the bearing that the methods used by Member States to allocate fishing rights have on the economic situation of the fleet.
  • Improving governance of the CFP. The 2002 reform of the CFP provided for setting up Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) in order to achieve better compliance with the rules by increasing stakeholders’ involvement in fisheries management. So far, three RACs have been set up and a fourth is in the process of being set up. In 2007, the Commission will look at how to improve the functioning of the RACs.
  • Matching fishing effort to available resources. Overcapacity contributes to overfishing and reduces profitability, which is why it is necessary to decommission some vessels. A number of Member States have already set up decommissioning schemes. Both national and Community aid may be granted for decommissioning fishing vessels or reassigning them to other activities. Member States and the Community should also use the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) for this purpose.

Better compliance with fisheries management rules

In order to ensure fair competition, conservation of resources and the quality of the scientific advice on which the CFP is based, it is important that all fishermen comply with the rules. Steps should be taken to:

  • Strengthen controls. The new Fisheries Control Agency will verify that Member States are implementing fishing Regulations across the European Union (EU).
  • Step up the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which some operators have adopted as a commercial strategy. The Commission will ensure that its action plan is implemented in order to deprive these operators of their gains from IUU fishing.

Improving the operation of the market

In order to give fishermen more added value, the Commission will look at new tools to improve the marketing of fish and fish products. It will also ask the Advisory Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture to draw up a code of conduct for trade within the EU. Eco-labelling schemes could also promote sustainable fishing. The Commission’s recent Communication on this subject should encourage fruitful debate. Member States should use the EFF to improve the quality, added value and marketing of fish products.

Research into sustainable fishing

The Commission will ensure that the annual programmes adopted to implement the Seventh Framework Programme support:

  • Optimising, validating and demonstrating new concepts and new technologies which will enable energy savings to be made.
  • Designing more fuel-efficient fishing gear.
  • Generating renewable energy.
  • Developing and demonstrating new types of biofuels.


The EFF is available to Member States within the framework of their rescue and restructuring schemes, as well as to help finance fleet adjustment measures and support the necessary social changes in the affected fishing communities. Member States should distribute the financial resources among the different EFF funding priorities, while ensuring that the necessary funds are allocated to fleet adjustment measures in view of the gravity of the economic situation.


Rising fuel prices, coupled with declining fish stocks, have reduced the profitability of the fleet. The Communication identifies the main factors contributing to the economic crisis in the sector, and suggests both short-term and long-term responses to improve the economic situation for fishing businesses by promoting measures designed to restore the balance between fishing capacity and fishing opportunities.

Key terms used in the act
  • Maximum sustainable yield: the maximum catch rate that will ensure sustainable fishing.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 4 July 2006 – Implementing sustainability in EU fisheries through maximum sustainable yield [COM(2006) 360 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Detailed rules for the implementation of the EFF Regulation

Detailed rules for the implementation of the EFF Regulation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Detailed rules for the implementation of the EFF Regulation


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Organisation and financing of the fisheries sector

Detailed rules for the implementation of the EFF Regulation

Document or Iniciative

Commission Regulation (EC) No 498/2007 of 26 March 2007 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 on the European Fisheries Fund [See amending act(s)].


The mechanisms and implementing rules laid down in this Regulation result from the provisions concerning the basic European Fisheries Fund Regulation (EFF).

The purpose of the detailed implementing rules is to facilitate the establishment of operational programmes (Annex I) as well as their examination and the approval of these projects by the Commission. An operational programme must include geographical criteria (analysis of national or local circumstances, description of strengths and weaknesses) and a description of how the projects developed fit in with the priority axes specified in the Regulation. Operational programmes for which public expenditure does not exceed 90 million at 2004 prices are eligible for the specific arrangements provided for in the Regulation. The purpose of these detailed implementing rules is also to assist the examination and approval of these projects by the Commission.

The structural measures for fisheries seek to guide and facilitate the restructuring of the sector. This process is necessary to safeguard the future of the sector and promote sustainable fishing. In the light of this, no public aid leading to an increase in fishing effort is permitted.

Priority axes

The implementing rules are established on the basis of the priority axes of the European Fisheries Fund (See Annex I, part A):

  • measures to adapt the European Union fishing fleet. These include public aid for the permanent or temporary cessation of fishing activities. These measures also determine aid to small-scale coastal fishing and socio-economic compensation for the management of the European fishing fleet;
  • aquaculture, inland fishing, processing and on-farm retail sale of fishery and aquaculture products. The Regulation defines the scope of aid to aquaculture production. It also proposes measures for productive investments in aquaculture based on species classification, aqua-environmental measures and animal health measures. As regards inland fishing, support may be granted to vessels of less than 12 metres not using towed gear. The Regulation provides for aid for the processing of fish to extract substances harmful to human health (such as dioxins). Aid will also be prioritised to small and micro enterprises;
  • measures of common interest. These cover collective actions, in particular to create and restructure the plans of producers’ organisations, protect flora and fauna, improve services offered by fishing ports, strengthen markets and promote partnerships between scientists and professionals in the fishing sector;
  • sustainable development of fisheries areas. The European Union will support local development strategies in order to diversify and strengthen fishing areas in decline. These fishing areas do not necessarily have to coincide with a national administrative area or with zones established by the Structural Funds. The Member States select groups for the implementation of the local development strategy.


The Member States are to forward interim evaluations of these programmes by no later than 30 June 2011. The Commission may decide to interrupt the payment deadline where a Member State has not complied with its management, control and spending obligations.

Information and publicity

Member States or the managing authority must carry out information and publicity measures for the public and potential beneficiaries. In addition, the managing authority must ensure that information and publicity measures are aimed at the wider public, for example through the launch of the operational programme, presenting the programme’s achievements and by flying the European Union flag (Annex II) for a week from 9 May in front of the managing authority’s premises.

Financial engineering instruments

Financial engineering instruments must be in the form of actions such as socio-economic compensation for fleet management (see list in Annex III) which give rise to repayable investments, particularly to SMEs and micro enterprises, through venture capital funds, guarantee funds and loan funds.

The statement of expenditure (Annex IX) must, as regards financial engineering instruments, include the total expenditure paid in establishing or contributing to these instruments. At the partial or final closure of the operational programme the eligible expenditure is the total of any payments for investment in enterprises from each of the financial engineering instruments or any guarantees provided.

When the EFF finances operations comprising financial engineering instruments, including those organised through holding funds, a business plan must be submitted by the co-financing partners or shareholders or by their duly authorised representative. This plan must comply with the conditions laid down in Articles 35, 36 and 37 of this implementing Regulation.

Management, monitoring and control

The managing authority designated for the programme by the Member State (Annex XII) must ensure that beneficiaries are informed of the specific conditions concerning the products or services to be delivered under the operation, the financing plan, the time-limit for execution and the financial and other information to be kept and communicated. The checks carried out by the managing authority must cover the administrative, financial, technical and physical aspects of the operations. Each amount corresponding to an irregularity is identified by the reference number attributed to that irregularity or by another appropriate method.

Audits must be carried out on the spot (Annex V) on the basis of documentation and records held by the beneficiary. The audit authority may also carry out random statistical sampling of operations (see Annex IV).


In the event of irregularities Member States must notify the European Commission of the reasons for these. Where an irregularity could have an impact on other Member States, they must also be informed.

Electronic exchange of data

The exchange of data between each Member State and the Commission must be carried out using a computer system established by the Commission which permits the secure exchange of data between the Commission and each Member State.

The computer system for data exchange contains information on:

  • the financing plans for operational programmes (model set out in Annex I, part B);
  • declarations of expenditure and applications for payment (model set out in Annex IX);
  • the annual statement on withdrawn and recovered amounts and pending recoveries (model in Annex X);
  • annual forecasts of likely applications for payment (see Annex XIII);
  • the financial section of the annual reports and final implementation reports (model set out in Annex XIV, point 3.3).

The computer system must also contain documents and information of common interest such as the operational programme (Annex I, part A), the Commission decision concerning the contribution of the EFF, the annual and final reports on implementation (model Annex XIV), the audit strategy (Annex V) and a description of the management system (Annex XII, part A).

Member States and the Commission must take all necessary measures to guarantee the protection of personal data.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 498/2007


OJ L 120, 10.5.2007

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No 1249/2010


OJ L 341, 23.12.2010

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 498/2007 have been incorporated in to the original document. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.