Aquaculture - movements of live aquaculture animals in and out of Northern Ireland

NI authorities with roles and responsibilities for live aquaculture animals in Northern Ireland

DAERA is Central Competent Authority for live aquaculture, with responsibility for all policy and operational issues relating to live fish.

Further information can be found at Aquaculture and fish health.
Contact details:

Moving live aquaculture animals from GB into Northern Ireland, including for onward transport to EU/ROI

Consignments from GB to NI will require the importer to notify DAERA of the proposed movement via TRACES NT a minimum of 24hrs before arrival to a Northern Ireland port. All consignments must be accompanied by an Export Health Certificate signed by the Competent Authority (Cefas in England and Wales, or Marine Scotland).

All consignments arriving in Northern Ireland must enter through a designated Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Inspection Facility which are Belfast and Larne ports for live fish.  All consignments of live fish arriving in Northern Ireland from GB will be subject to physical inspection. 


Notification on TRACES-NT is the responsibility of the importer/agent of the importing Country under Article 15 of Regulation (EC)2017/625.  The operator responsible for the consignment (EU importer) entering the Union, must ensure that all the required documentation is in place.

A Northern Ireland Consignee Checklist for the movement of Live Fish / Ornamental Fish / Live Shellfish / Trout Eggs - from GB to NI - can be found at Aquaculture - Movement of Live Fish - NI Consignee Checklist.

Please note: If you are exporting live fish from GB to Northern Ireland you will need to register on TRACES NT using a Northern Ireland or EU Member State address, otherwise you will be unable to complete the process.

Further information for the GB exporter can be found at Guidance on importing live animals or animal products |

Live aquaculture - GB to NI - additional requirements

  • Ensure that any wood packaging material moving from GB to NI is ISPM15 compliant (heat treated and stamped).
  • Find out what customs procedures apply and avail, if required, of the free Trader Support Service which provides assistance with completing customs declarations.  Make sure the consignment adheres to Rules of Origin guidance.
  • Consignments must be fully compliant with the requirements of the Official Controls Regulation to enter Northern Ireland. Further information on checks and compliance is available in the Compliance Protocol document.
  • All live fish consignments require physical inspection, the driver must follow the signs to the designated inspection facilities at the port and must proceed for inspection to Duncrue Street OCTA at Belfast Port and to Redlands Road OCTA at Larne Port. 
  • Goods which arrive in Northern Ireland but cannot be cleared, due to non-compliance with import requirements, will be subject to enforcement procedures. The consignments will not be permitted to enter Northern Ireland.

Moving live aquaculture animals between NI and the EU (including RoI)

Trade in goods (Imports and Exports) between Northern Ireland and the EU Member States (including ROI), will continue unaffected, with no change at EU border or entry point, no new paperwork, tariffs or regulatory checks. This means that there are no changes to the existing obligations for such trade.

Please note: Northern Ireland remains in the same Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) zone as the EU. Therefore, exports of live bivalve molluscs, both wild and farmed, from NI to the EU can continue to operate as they did before 1 January 2021. The certification and notification requirements are also as they were prior to 1 January 2021.

Further information on Exports of Aquaculture Animals and Products can be found at Aquaculture and fish health.

Further information


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