Last updated on 15 August 2023
Key steps required to move UK caught fish through Northern Ireland's Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Inspection Facilities
- Download a simple guide on the key steps required to move UK caught fish through Northern Ireland's Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Inspection Facilities
NI authorities with roles and responsibilities for Fish and Fishery Products in Northern Ireland
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) Northern Ireland is the Central Competent Authority (CCA) for food safety, including imported food, and have specific policy responsibility for fish and fishery products for human consumption.
Contact details: Executive.Support@food.gov.uk 028 90417700
DAERA (Fisheries Inspectorate) is the Central Competent Authority (CCA) and Single Liaison Office (SLO) for Catch Certificates - Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU).
The Compliance Protocol highlights DAERA’s responsibilities, as the Central Competent Authority (CCA), with regard to the prevention, deterrence and elimination of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing activity in line with Regulation (EU) 1005/2008. This is achieved through monitoring and inspection of IUU catch certificates, at the Northern Ireland Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Inspection Facilities. DAERA’s role as the Central Competent Authority is also reflected in The Sea Fishing (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing) Order (Northern Ireland) 2018 .
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
District Councils (Port Health) are the Competent Authority (CA) responsible for control and enforcement for all of the above.
Newry Mourne and Down District Council
Warrenpoint Port: 028 94426824
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
Larne Port: 028 28260021
Mid and East Antrim Port Health: 028 28262374
Belfast City Council
Belfast Port: 028 90378555
Belfast City Council Port Health: 028 90351199
Movements of fish and fishery products into Northern Ireland, including for onward transport to EU/ROI
Moving fish and fishery products from GB to NI
Before moving Fish and Fishery Products from GB to NI the business/person responsible for the consignment must:
- Ensure they are registered on TRACES.NT (the online EU system used to pre-notify SPS goods entering EU territory).
* 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.
- Obtain copies of the signed Export Health Certificates (EHCs) for all consignments. The original EHC should accompany the consignment. Further details on EHCs is available here. If you cannot find the EHC, the GB exporter will need to contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) for guidance.
- Pre-notify: Guidance on pre-notification can be found here, with further guidance on the timescales for pre-notification found at this link (i.e. 24hrs).
- Create a Common Health Entry Document for Products (CHED P) on TRACES.NT uploading scanned colour copies of the EHCs and any supporting documents including catch certificates (see documentary requirements below). Where the document is too large to send as one file, it is acceptable to send it in two parts.
- Ensure the product enters at a Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Inspection Facility that has EU designation for that product. You can only import Products of Animal Origin (POAO) fishery products for human consumption through the following Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Inspection Facilities in Northern Ireland:
- Belfast Port;
- Larne Port;
- Warrenpoint Harbour.
Information on the NI authorities, with roles and responsibilities for Fish and Fishery Products in Northern Ireland, can be found at this link.
Documentary requirements for Products of Animal Origin (POAO) Fish and Fishery Products - GB to NI:
Fish and fishery product consignments, will need to enter via a NI Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Inspection Facility and be accompanied by the following information:
Sign up for The Trader Support Service (TSS) to get advice on EORI numbers and moving goods between GB and NI. The service is free if you trade with Northern Ireland. You can also access DAERA’s TSS information flyers here.
Additional catch certificate information
Some composite products, that contain wild caught fish, may also require the appropriate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) catch certificates. The relevant Combined Nomenclature (CN) codes are those that fall under Chapter 3 and the Tariff headings 1604 and 1605.
If the product contains wild caught fish making up more than 20% by weight of its total ingredients, you will need to obtain the appropriate catch certificate.
Further Guidance on composite products can be found here
Products exempt from catch certificate requirements
Catch certificates are only required for fishery products intended for human consumption… and are not required in the following instances:
- Pet food
- Animal feed
- Fish by-products such as fish oil
- Aquaculture products
- Fish bait
Farmed aquaculture does not require a catch certificate, even if it falls under the same Tariff Headings highlighted above. Furthermore, other products containing or obtained from fishery products, not classified in Chapter 3 or in Tariff headings 1604 and 1605, are also excluded for example, products classified in Chapter 15 (fish fats and oil etc).
A detailed list of excluded products can be found in Annex I of the IUU Regulation EC 1005/2008 and under Tariff Headings 1604 and 1605.
*NB: The catch certificate does not have to accompany the load.
You may also be required to submit the following documentation depending on the particular scenario/journey:
POAO originating in NI, intended for further export from GB to the EU, or movement back to NI, then NI to GB onward movements:
Where POAO originating in NI is intended for further export from GB to the EU, or movement back to NI, then NI to GB movements of POAO may require a Support Health Attestation (SHA). A SHA will provide the necessary sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) assurances to allow completion of the final EHC in GB. It is not required to enter GB and should therefore only be used where there is a clear need for assurance indicated by a certifying officer in GB. Further information on SHAs is available here.
Where POAO originating in NI is intended for further export from GB to the EU, or movement back to NI, then NI to GB movements of POAO will require a catch certificate.
For information on Direct Landings please visit the following link for Direct Landings - Journey Checklists
POAO Fish and Fishery Products - GB to NI - additional requirements:
- Where required, ensure the consignment meets the Food Standards Agency (FSA) labelling requirements which are available here.
- Ensure that all consignments are identified with an official tamperproof seal applied to the consignment/transport container and that this seal number is recorded on the EHCs and CHEDs. DAERA groupage guidance for consignments being moved under the groupage scheme can be found here.
- 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.
On arrival in Northern Ireland:
- 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.
- Where goods require physical inspection, the driver must follow the signs to the designated inspection facilities at the 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 fish and fishery products 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 that alternative arrangements apply to the movement of retail goods by authorised traders. This guide should only be used for goods moving outside those arrangements.
- DAERA Fisheries
- Roles and Responsibilities for Fish and Fishery Products in NI
- Guidance for moving Products of Animal Origin (POAO) from EU countries to NI via the GB Landbridge
- Moving fishery products or bivalve molluscs from Great Britain and non-EU countries into Northern Ireland
- Personal imports of POAO moving from GB-NI must comply with EU Regulations
- Notification of Proposed Fish Movement Form for Intra-trade movements NI or NI -GB.
- Marketing Standards requirements
- Organic goods requirements (Certificate of Inspection (COI)).
DAERA Marine & Fisheries Division