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Oceans and fisheries

Control regulation

The new Control Regulation 2023/2842 was published in December 2023 and entered into force on 9 January 2024.


The revised rules modernise the way fishing activities are controlled, for EU vessels and those fishing in EU waters. They aim to prevent overfishing, create a more efficient and unified fisheries control system, and promote fairness among different sea basins and fleets. The revised EU fisheries control regulation updates most of the rules for fishing vessels to modern technology and promotes sustainability. The key changes involve enhanced monitoring of fishing activities, better traceability of catches, and harmonised sanctions for rule violations. 


The new provisions aim to create a more modern and consistent fisheries control system in the EU and protect marine resources in the following ways

  • Enhancing efforts to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
  • Implementing digital technology and modern data management to monitor fishing activities – from the net to the plate.
  • Requiring vessel tracking systems (VMS) to track all fishing vessels and mandating electronic recording of all catches.
  • Using user-friendly mobile apps to simplify processes for fishermen.
  • Catch recording and reporting for certain recreational fishers.
  • Introducing mandatory digital traceability along the supply chain for fresh and frozen fishery and aquaculture products, gradually expanding to processed products like canned goods. This will provide consumers with more reliable information about the origin of the products. These rules apply to all fishery and aquaculture products, including imports.
  • Strengthening compliance with the landing obligation, which prevents the illegal discarding of unwanted catches at sea. Fishing vessels above 18 m with a high risk of non-compliance will be required to have remote electronic monitoring using onboard cameras.
  • Establishing harmonised sanctions for violations of the common fisheries policy, particularly for serious infringements.
  • Make it easier to report and recover lost fishing gear. Fishing vessels must carry equipment to retrieve lost gear and record information in their electronic logbooks. 

Some of the new rules will be applicable in 2026 and some only in 2028.

New rules for imported fishery products  

Starting from 9 January 2026, EU importers must use the IT tool CATCH to submit catch certificates for fishery products imported into the EU market. CATCH simplifies and speeds up the administrative process by offering a digital and paperless workflow. It allows for easy exchange of data, information, and documents between trading parties and control authorities. CATCH also helps identify and prevent the importation of fishery products obtained through illegal fishing, improving the effectiveness of the EU's catch certification scheme.


The Commission is required to report to the Parliament and Council every 5 years on the implementation of the Control Regulation. This report is based on information provided by Member States and also information collected by the Commission through audits, verifications, and inspections conducted in accordance with Title X of the Control Regulation.


  • 2021 - The second report, covering 2015-2019, accompanied by a synopsis report summarising Member State reported data.
  • 2017 - The first report covering 2009-2014.


  1. 9 January 2024

    Regulation (EU) 2023/2842 entered into force. Most provisions apply after two or four years, to allow time for implementation.

  2. 20 December 2023

    Regulation (EU) 2023/2842 was adopted by the European Parliament and Council.

  3. May 2018

    The European Commission tabled the proposal for the revision of the fisheries control system, aimed at increasing its efficiency and ensuring its compliance with the reformed CFP.

    Impact assessment

  4. 2011

    The Control Regulation (1224/2009) adopted in 2009 came into force together with the implementing rules (Commission implementing Regulation 404/2011).

  5. 2009

    The Control Regulation (1224/2009) was adopted in November 2009, at a time when the EU was launching a thorough reform of the CFP. 

  6. 2007

    special report of the Court of Auditors in 2007 showed that the mechanisms in place for control, inspection and sanction were not capable of ensuring that the rules on managing the fisheries resources were effectively applied.

  7. 1993

    The control framework was revised again in the light of the 1992 CFP reform. While the regulation adopted in 1993 was still very much focused on controlling the use of quotas, it extended the scope of the control system to include new elements in areas such as the marketing of fisheries products, fishing fleet capacity, aquaculture and technical measures. It also required Member States to introduce a system of sanctions for cases of non-compliance with fisheries rules. 

  8. 1987

    The regulation adopted in 1987 after the accession of Spain and Portugal, strengthened the monitoring of the catches and empowered the Commission to close fisheries once the quotas have been exhausted.

  9. 1982

    EU fisheries control was initiated as part of the process of setting up the CFP, with a first regulation, adopted in 1982, establishing basic obligations to ensure compliance with the conservation measures of the new policy. In particular, the 1982 regulation introduced requirements for Member States to record and declare their catches, so as to adequately enforce the national 'quotas' allocated among Member States under the fishing opportunities system of the CFP.