From 1 January 2021, under the Northern Ireland Protocol, Northern Ireland will remain in the same sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) zone as the EU. Therefore any consignments of live fish entering NI from GB or any other non EU country post transition, will be treated as entering the EU SPS zone from a third country.
This means that all imports of live fish from GB and other non EU countries post transition will have to be inspected as per the Official Controls Regulation (OCR) (EU) 2017/625, at a Northern Ireland Point of Entry. The current rate of inspection for all live animals including live fish from a third country is 100% document, identification and physical checks.
Legal requirements for importing fish into the European Union
Council Directive 2006/88/EC sets out the rules for the importing of aquaculture animals and products into the European Union (EU). The Aquatic Animal Health Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009, as amended transposes this Directive into Northern Ireland law.
Detailed rules on the movement of aquaculture animals and the placing on the market of aquaculture animals and products are set out in the Regulations. Commission Regulation 1251/2008 sets out the certificates required for the placing on the market of imports into the EU.
All imports from third countries, including GB, must enter Northern Ireland through an approved Point of Entry (POE) and be accompanied by the appropriate Export Health Certificate (EHC), which has been completed and signed by the Competent Authority of the exporting country.
Post transition there will be 2 Points of Entry into Northern Ireland designated for importing live fish; these are Belfast Harbour and Larne Harbour. A checklist for importers of live fish from GB to Northern Ireland post transition can be found by clicking on the following link:
Belfast POE, Old Ulster Bus Yard, Duncrue Street, Belfast, BT3 9BJ
Larne POE, Redlands, Coastguard Road, Larne, BT40 1AX