British businesses that export fish to the European Union have been urged to prepare for a no-deal Brexit scenario to ensure they are able to continue trading after March 29th 2019.
The government insists making a deal is still its priority, but said it wants UK exporters to sign up to new digital services just in case.
In a no-deal scenario, exporters of fish will require a validated catch certificate for most fish products going to the EU to prove it has been caught in line with established conservation and management measures.
Processing statements, storage documents, prior notification forms and pre-landing declarations are also likely to be necessary.
In order to prepare all the necessary paperwork, businesses are invited to sign in to their Government Gateway user ID and then create a business Defra account using their details.
Guidance can then be followed via the Gov.uk site on how to create a UK catch certificate.
"Registering early gives exporters time to test the new service before the UK leaves the EU," an official statement said.
A recent parliamentary report found that around 75 per cent of the fish caught in the UK is exported, mostly to the EU, while the majority of fish eaten in Britain is imported.
In 2017, the UK landed 724,000 tonnes of sea fish into the UK and abroad and had the seventh-largest fishing fleet in the EU.