We Support Commission’s Decision to Implement Third-Party Weighers


On May 24, 2024, the EU Commission approved stricter controls to enhance catch reporting flexibility in specific fisheries. The Commission Implementing Regulation of May 24, 2024 (2024/1474) established rules concerning derogations from the margin of tolerance in estimating catches for unsorted landings and transshipments from small pelagic, industrial, and tropical tuna purse seine fisheries. These conditions include the use of independent third-party weighers, accredited according to ISO 17020 type A, to monitor the accuracy of each landing and transshipment.

At EFFOP, we support this decision to specify conditions for accurate weighing by independent third-party weighers accredited under ISO 17020 type A. We have long advocated for these measures, believing they will ensure impartiality and create a level playing field.

This will ensure an arm’s length between the weighing operator and the buyer: The weighing process should not be overseen by an individual, such as an operator, who could potentially have a conflict of interest as a buyer. Instead, we recommend that the complete registration of all small pelagic bulk landings be supervised  by an independent and accredited commercial third party. The Type A inspection is particularly significant as it involves an impartial agency conducting independent inspections.

We also recommend implementing uniform sampling plans for by-catch so that the sampling frequency and requirements are consistent across all European ports where unsorted catches are landed. Variations in sampling plans between countries are not sustainable.

As representatives of European fishmeal and fish oil producers and buyers of small pelagics in bulk, we strive for a level playing field to ensure accurate recording of all catches, monitor quota uptake, and promote sustainable fishing. Therefore, we welcome this decision by the EU Commission as a crucial step toward proper recording and monitoring.

Read more here or read the full regulation here.

Also read our industry standard here.