What Impact will Brexit have on the UKHO?

What is the UKHO?

The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is the UK’s agency for providing hydrographic and marine geospatial data to mariners and maritime organisations across the world.

The UKHO is a trading fund of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and is located in Taunton, Somerset with a workforce of approximately 900 staff.

Research on Brexit Impact

The UKHO states there are no analyses, risk assessments or risk registers relating to the impact of Brexit on the UKHO.

However, the UKHO’s Corporate Plan 2018 did outline the requirement to monitor and fully understand the implications of Brexit on the UKHO.

Perceived Brexit Implications

  • Data Acquisition: Bilateral agreements and relationships are with individual nations rather than the EU and so there will be little impact.
  • Data Collection: The funds and activities which collect data within UK waters, including the Civil Hydrography Programme (CHP) are managed and coordinated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) rather than UKHO. No UKHO data collection programme, such as Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme, are dependent on EU finances.
  • Boundaries: All matters of land and maritime boundaries are bilateral and they are not subject to overriding non-sovereign bodies such as the EU. As such there is potentially significant work on fisheries limits and Northern Ireland limits and as a result there will be some limited impact on the UKHO’s work load but no impact on them as an organisation.
  • Product Sales: Noting that a majority of the UKHO’s sales are conducted in US$, issues associated with exchange rate (could be beneficial/or not) and import/export tariffs on their products (as yet unknown).
  • Regulations: Are likely to be swept over in the EU Withdrawal Bill or overtaken by new UK policy associated with the Geospatial Commission.


FOI 2018/10223 dated 22 August 2018.


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