Now that the UK has left the EU, we as individuals, are no longer citizens of the EU. As such, we no longer have the same rights of movement that we had before the transition period finished on 31st December 2020. One of the consequences of this is that our foodstuffs and animal feedstuff, including fishing baits and groundbaits, can no longer be carried into EU member states for personal use as before.

The reason for this change is biosecurity.  Anglers’ baits, which are made of plant and animal materials, can harbour diseases that might spread into the EU herd and crops. The new controls are designed to stop any risk to food security, in the event that future UK controls change significantly from where they are today in harmony with those in mainland Europe.

If you take your pet to a Member State, you may take a maximum of 2 kilos of branded and packaged pet food required for pet health reasons, but under other circumstances you may not take most animal-based foods or animal feedstuffs with you. Effectively this means that you must now buy your food, fishing bait and ground bait within the EU or country to which you are travelling to fish.

This useful link gives advice that most closely represents the scenario for UK anglers travelling to the continent. Check under “Rules when travelling from a non-EU country” for detailed guidance.

Please note that within these rules, “Plants and or plant products” includes seeds and pulses, and that these are covered by a requirement for a plant health certificate.

As you enter the Schengen Area you will be checked and asked what you are carrying. Any meat, dairy or plant products or any products containing meat, dairy or plant components which you have not declared will be confiscated and destroyed. You may also be fined or face a criminal prosecution.

In addition, any meat, dairy or plant products or any products containing meat, dairy or plant components which you have declared may also be confiscated and destroyed.

The 26 Schengen countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

If you plan on going to any countries outside these, you need to check with the national embassy for those countries before taking bait with you.

Angling Trades Association advice to anglers travelling to mainland Europe for fishing after 1st January 2021.