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Central Depository


Following a series of recommendations made by the Government Task Force on Non-EEA workers in the Irish Fishing Fleet in December 2015, it has been decided that non-EEA crew members working in the whitefish fleet will come under the Atypical Working Scheme, which is administered by the Department of Justice & Equality (Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service)

Atypical Working Scheme

NB: Full details of the scheme are set out in the appendix to the Task Force Report and all applicants should read that material as well as that contained on the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service (INIS) website.

  • The scheme will apply only to non-officer crew members working on vessels which are over 15m in overall length and licensed and registered in the Polyvalent, Beamer or Specific segments of the Irish sea-fishing fleet.
  • From 15 February 2016 to 15 May 2016, the Scheme will apply to existing crew members only.  Please note, after 15 May 2016 all non-EEA workers intending to work in the fishing industry must obtain an Atypical Worker Permission from INIS and Visa clearance, if applicable, prior to entering the State.
  • For the purposes of the scheme, all crew from non-EEA countries must be employed directly by a sea-fishing boat licence holder under a written contract of employment for a duration of 12 months.
  • The contract must be certified by a practicing solicitor as being in compliance with the conditions of the terms of the Scheme for Employment for Non-EEA Crew Members in Parts of the Irish Commercial Sea-Fishing Fleet and contain at least the provisions set out in Minimum Contract Terms-Non EEA Fishing Crew Members Updated 07.06.19 (doc 22Kb)   
  • Prior to applying to the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service for an Atypical Worker Permission, the contract of employment (and supporting documentation) between the non-EEA worker and the vessel owner must first be lodged with the Central Depository, National Seafood Centre, Clonakilty, Co. Cork. 

Central Depository

A Solicitor, acting on behalf of the vessel owner, must submit to the Central Depository the contract of employment and supporting documentation (see below).  If the submission is in order, the contract will be recorded and assigned a unique reference number.  This reference number must be entered on the crew member’s Atypical Worker (ATW) Permission application form when applying to INIS.

The recording of a contract is no guarantee that ATW Permission or a Visa/Immigration permission will be granted.

Documentation required

A Solicitor acting on behalf of the vessel owner (employer) should submit the following to the Central Depository:-

  • Certification, from the Solicitor acting on behalf of the Vessel Owner (employer), that the terms of the scheme have been met and that a contract of employment is in place that meets, in all aspects, the pre-conditions of the scheme. Certification for scheme (doc 12Kb)    
  • Copy of the Sea-fishing Boat Licence(s) for the vessel(s) on which the non EEA worker will be contracted to work.
  • Evidence of previous employment or relevant qualification as a fisher.
  • In the case of non-EEA crew members applying during the first three months of the Scheme (15th February 2016 to 15th May 2016), evidence of previous work on licensed and registered Irish fishing vessels before 15th February 2016.
  • Statement from the Vessel Owner (employer) that he/she will enrol the crew member in a BIM safety training scheme Basic Safety Training with BIM in accordance with the Fishing Vessel (Basic Safety Training) Regulations, 2001 (SI 587/2001) and that training will be completed in advance of the crew member commencing employment on the fishing vessel(s).  If the crew member already holds a BIM Safety Card issued within the past five years. 
  • Statement from the Vessel Owner (employer) that he/she will comply with the Sea-fishing Boat Licence condition that at least 50% of the crew of a sea-fishing vessel must be nationals of the EU Member States

If any of the above documents are not included with the application to the Central Depository, the submission will be returned to the Solicitor as incomplete.

In order to ensure that all the necessary documents have been submitted, Solicitors should use the attached Checklist. Checklist for Central Depository Scheme (doc 47Kb)   

Next Steps

Where the Central Depository has assigned a unique reference number to the contract of employment, the applicant crew member may apply to INIS for an Atypical Worker Permission.

Data Protection

Information submitted to the Central Depository under the Scheme will be made available to INIS in order to progress the crew member’s ATW and Visa/Immigration permission applications.  Such information will only be released to other parties in accordance with the law.

Central Depository Contact Details

Central Depository, National Seafood Centre, Clonakilty, Co. Cork



·        at least the provisions set out in Minimum Contract Terms-Non EEA Fishing Crew Members Updated 07.06.19 (doc 22Kb)   

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