Covid-19 Temporary Fleet Tie-up Scheme

About the Scheme

The purpose of this scheme is to reduce the volume of seafood entering the market which has been depressed by the Covid-19 Pandemic, while at the same time keeping an adequate number of vessels fishing to maintain a food supply. The scheme will contribute to the fixed costs incurred by fishing vessels while tied-up. The Scheme will be reviewed at the end of each month and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine reserves the right to terminate the Scheme at any time.

A maximum of two thirds (66%) of the number of vessels in each of eight vessel length categories will be approved for support for any particular one-month period, ensuring that some vessels are always available to fish and continue to supply the market. 

Grant aid is available to owners of Irish Sea-fishing boats as listed on the Irish Fleet Register that meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Licensed in the Polyvalent, Beam Trawl or Specific segment of the Irish sea-fishing fleet;
  • Which have carried out fishing activities at sea for at least 120 days in total over the calendar years 2018 and 2019, and
  • Which have made total to a minimum value of €5,000 in the calendar year 2019, by reference to the Irish Sales Note System administered by the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority. (SFPA). Sales recorded outside of this system will not be taken into consideration in meeting this criterion.

Please note:

  • In relation to days at sea, for all vessels under 10m a self-declaration will be accepted. For all vessels >10m, the number of days fished will be confirmed by BIM with the SFPA prior to issuing a letter of offer. Where a vessel has been registered in the Irish Register of Sea-fishing boats for less than two years at the date of application, BIM will calculate the minimum number of days of fishing activities in the calendar years 2018/19 required, as a proportion of the 120 days normally required.
  • Sales notes requirements will be confirmed by BIM with the SFPA prior to issuing a letter of offer.

Available Grant Aid

The scheme will be offered to a maximum of 66% of vessels in each length category each month, for the three months June, July and August. A sea-fishing boat licence holder may only avail of the scheme for a maximum of two months. 

Grant aid will be given at a 100% grant rate for all fishing vessels.

Size of vessel

Payment for

1-month tie-up period

Payment for

2-month tie-up period

Number of Vessels on the Irish Fleet Register @

 8 May 2020

Max no. Boats allowed aid in a given month (66%)

<6m

€500

€1000

592

391

6 < 8m

€500

€1000

512

338

8 < 10m

€750

€1,500

372

246

10 < 12m

€800

€1,600

229

151

12 < 15m

€1,900

€3,800

68

45

15 < 18m

€2,000

€4,000

20

13

18 < 24m

€4,600

€9,200

78

51

> 24m

€6,000

€12,000

113

75

Before you apply

As 2 of the key requirements for the scheme relate to sales notes and logged fishing activity days, please ensure before you apply:

  • To check with your buyer(s) that your sales notes, logged with the SFPA by them into the Irish Sales Note Portal (Fishingnet.ie), are up to date
  • You have logged all your fishing days correctly with the SFPA

Please note, failure to do so may lead to your application being deemed ineligible.

In cases where updating of these records with the SFPA may result in the difference between meeting the requirement or not please note the following.

  • With regards to 1 and 2 above, the SFPA databases / records are the only reference points of the Scheme
  • You are strongly advised to ensure your vessel’s SFPA records are up to date before you make your application
  • Failure to have your application submitted and records up to date by the Scheme’s respective deadlines will result in your application being deemed ineligible
  • In the case where an application has been submitted on time but found ineligible (see ‘What to do if your boat is found ineligible for Grant Aid’ heading below) be aware that there is very little time for you to have your records amended
  • If BIM has not received confirmation from the SFPA that your records meet the Scheme requirements by the time of the last BIM / SFPA check prior to the tie-up period commencing, then the application will be rejected
  • The last BIM / SFPA check may take place a week or more, prior to the end of that month in order to allow time for processing of all other applications
  • Retrospective amendment of your records after this date will not result in your application being deemed eligible for the month for which the deadline has passed

In respect of the above the deadlines for the Scheme are as follows

For tie-up in July 

Receipt of applications is 5pm on Friday 19 June.

(Note: Last re-checks with SFPA for July Tie-Up period will be Wednesday 24 June 2020)

For tie-up in August

Receipt of applications is 5pm Monday 20 July 2020.

(Note: Last re-checks with SFPA for August Tie-Up period will be Friday 24 July 2020)

Please note that submission of log-sheets by vessel masters, and sales notes by fish buyers, are both legal requirements under EU and Irish law, within defined time periods after landing and first-sale respectively.

How to apply

  • You must register with the BIM Grants Portal https://bim.flexigrant.com/
  • To do this you will need your e-mail address and a contact phone number
  • You will need to enter a password which you will need every time you log into the Grants Portal
  • You will be required to verify your account by clicking on the link in an e-mail that will be sent to your e-mail account as soon as you submit the registration form
  • Once you are registered, you can log into the system and start an application

Note

  • To complete the application form you will need:
    • A legible scanned copy / photograph of your Sea-Fishing Boat Licence
    • Your bank details. Please note the bank details must be for the owner / company named on the fishing licence for the vessel to be tied-up
    • The Tax Reference and Tax Clearance Access Numbers for all the owner(s) named on the Fishing Licence of the vessel being tied up. You can submit your application if you do not have your Tax details, but you must supply them before the end of the tie-up period or you risk non-payment of the grant aid

IMPORTANT

  • You must submit your application before the application deadline:
    • 5pm Friday 19th June 2020 for July Tie-Up Period. Applications for July tie-up will not be accepted beyond this date
    • 5pm Monday 20th July 2020 for August Tie-Up Period. Applications for August tie-up will not be accepted beyond this date
  • You must press “Submit” on your application form and ensure you receive an acknowledgement e-mail of receipt or your application is not considered to have been submitted

BIM Assessment

Notes:

  • If your attached Sea-Fishing Boat Licence is illegible it will delay your application as we will have to contact you to supply a readable version
  • When an application is received by BIM, BIM request the SFPA to check both sales notes and fishing days against the criteria for the scheme
  • If you have sufficient sales notes and fishing days logged with the SFPA and your attached licence is legible you will receive a letter of offer
  • When you receive the letter of offer e-mail you must log back into the BIM Grants Portal to accept the offer prior to the tie-up period
  • Once you accept the Letter of Offer you must contact your Regional Officer and arrange hand-over of your Sea-Fishing Boat Licence (see below for instructions)
  • Once you have accepted your letter of offer, you will not be required to submit a claim form. Grant aid will be transferred into your nominated bank account once you have surrendered your licence, have met all tax clearance requirements and the SFPA has confirmed that your vessel was not found to be engaged in fishing during the tie-up period
  • If you are found to have insufficient sales notes and / or insufficient fishing days your application will be deemed ineligible and you will receive an e-mail notification informing you

What to do if your boat is found ineligible for Grant Aid

If you believe the records held by the SFPA do not reflect your vessel activity and you wish to have your application re-opened your next steps depend on addressing either or both the qualifying criteria as outlined below. 

Insufficient Sales Notes

  Next Steps for applicant:

  1. If you believe the shortfall in sales notes is due to missing records, contact your buyer(s) to ensure any purchases made from you are reflected by sales notes entered by them into the Irish Sales Note Portal (Fishingnet.ie)
  2. If your buyer has uploaded new Sales Notes, and you believe the system should better reflect your sales, you may contact data@sfpa.ie to verify that your records have been updated
  3. You must then contact BIM to re-open your application
  4. BIM will re-open your application, request a new check by the SFPA at this new date and continue processing your application for the required tie-up period

Insufficient Fishing Days

  Next Steps for applicant

  1. Contact data@sfpa.ie to request information on what fishing logs, relevant to your vessel are available to them
  2. Identify any gaps you think might exist, e.g you have a log with fishing activity not reflected in the record held by the SFPA
  3. Contact the SFPA with the outstanding log numbers. Copies of the outstanding logsheets will be required if a paper logbook is in use
  4. When all submissions have been made you may again contact data@sfpa.ie to verify that your record is now in order
  5. You must then contact BIM to re-open your application
  6. BIM will re-open your application, request a new check by the SFPA at this new date and continue processing your application for the required month

IMPORTANT

  • The last re-check with the SFPA for the July Tie-Up period will be Wednesday 24th June 2020.
  • The last re-check with SFPA for August Tie-Up period will be Friday 24th July 2020.

If you do not get your SFPA records updated before these dates, your application will not be eligible for the related tie-up period.

Hand-Over of your Sea-Fishing Boat Licence to BIM

  1. Contact your Regional Officer to arrange a time and place for hand-over of your licence. For details on how contact your Regional Officer, Click here (pdf 465Kb)
  2. Your Licence must be handed over prior to the start of the tie-up period accepted
  3. Under exceptional circumstances, where you cannot meet your regional officer, please contact your Regional Officer to agree that you can send it via post. You must post your licence to the Regional Officer using registered post. You will be required to supply dated proof of postage prior to the start of the approved tie-up period. Do not post your licence to BIM Head-quarters

IMPORTANT

  • You must ensure that you hand-over your current in date Sea-Fishing Boat Licence for the vessel being tied-up. Failure to do so will result in non-payment of your grant aid
  • If your licence expires in the middle of the tie-up period you must also submit your new licence prior to the beginning of the second month tying up

Key Dates

Status: Open

Due Date: 5pm, Friday 19 June 2020 for July Tie-Up Period. (Note: Last re-checks with SFPA for July Tie-Up period will be Wednesday 24 June 2020)

Next Call: 5pm, Monday 20 July 2020 for August Tie-Up Period. (Note: Last re-checks with SFPA for August Tie-Up period will be Friday 24 July 2020)

Scheme Terms and Conditions

How to Apply

Apply online at bim.flexigrant.com

Contact Details

Download a copy of the Contact Details and Provisional Drop-off and Collection Points (pdf 465Kb)  for the COVID-19 Temporary Tie-Up Scheme.