Levy FAQs

Noted below are some of the more frequently asked questions. Please note that the responses outlined below are intended as a guide, and for more comprehensive answers you should contact your Levy Auditor or refer to the 1981 Fisheries Act and associated Regulations.

What is a sea fish?

Any kind of fish found in the sea including shellfish regardless of whether wild caught or farmed.  This includes parts of sea fish.

Who is liable for Seafish Levy?

Levy is due on the first hand purchase of fish, shellfish, sea fish products, and fishmeal within the UK. This means that levy is due when:

  • Buying off local boats/pickers
  • Buying from a foreign supplier
  • Buying from a 'farm', such as Oyster growers, Mussel growers, etc.

Sea fish landed by UK fishing vessels, farmers, growers, and cultivators and subsequently sold overseas.

I think I may be liable for Levy, what should I do?

Contact the Levy Auditor for your area who will discuss the levy with you, and if necessary arrange to meet with you to explain how to complete the Levy paperwork and pay.

You can find your Levy Auditor on our contacts page.

I only import fish/shellfish which have been farmed in fresh water/brackish water, am I liable to pay Levy?

See previous answer. If this is a sea water species levy will be due.

Please note there are non-sea fish species, such as Macrobrachium Rosenbergii or Procambrius Clarkii which are excluded from levy.

I import frozen product which includes ice glaze, do I need to declare the full weight for the purposes of my Levy return?

No, you should only pay levy on the actual fish content, so if 10% of the total weight is ice glaze then you should deduct this element from the total weight (unless glaze compensated). Please note that unless it is stated on the invoice, your levy auditor may request evidence to support a deduction for ice glaze, such as product specification, letter from supplier, etc.

I purchase items which include a non-fish element such as additives, breadcrumbs, sauce, etc.  Do I declare the full weight of these items on my levy return?

No, you should only pay levy on the actual fish content, so you need to establish the percentage of non-fish product and deduct this from the weight which you declare on your levy return. Please note that unless it is stated on the invoice, your levy auditor may request evidence to support a deduction for ice glaze, such as product specification, letter from supplier, etc.

I want to pass on the cost of the levy to my customers. Can I include this on my invoices?

Unless you are specifically acting as a fish salesman on behalf of Seafish, you cannot directly recover the cost of the Levy from your customers.

Levy Interpretations

What Species are considered to be Pelagic?

The only Pelagic species for the purposes of Levy are:

  • Herring
  • Sprat
  • Pilchard
  • Sardine
  • Scad
  • Whitebait
  • Blue Whiting
  • Capelin
  • Silver Smelt
  • Mackerel (Scomber and Scombermorous only)

What is a Fillet?

For the purpose of the Levy return a fillet is the whole side of a fish, (both sides in the case of block fillets) and parts thereof including loins (except Tuna, Shark, Marlin etc, see below), Tails, Goujons, Chunks, and portions taken from a fillet.

How should I declare the following products?

Product Form

White fish steak

Form L1: All other products

Surimi

Form L1: All other products

Monkfish tails (skinless)

Form L1: All other products

Monkfish tails (skin on)

Form L1: Headless and gutted

Dogfish backs

Form L1: All other products

Tuna, shark, marlin, swordfish, and sailfish (half moons and quarter cuts)

Form L1: All other products

Tuna, shark, marlin, swordfish, and sailfish (chunks and pieces)

Form L1: All other products

Stuffed squid (stuffed with legs and tentacles)

Form L5: All other shellfish - other than whole

Half shell scallops

Form L5: All other shellfish - other than whole

Half shell mussels

Form L5: Cockles and mussels - other than whole

 

Minced white fish

Form L1: All other products

Are there any exceptions to the Levy?

Yes, Levy is not due on any freshwater species and salmon/migratory trout. This includes following:

  • Pangasius/Basa - freshwater species
  • Tilapia - freshwater species
  • Crayfish/freshwater prawn - freshwater species
  • Salmon - exempt by the fisheries act
  • Sea Trout - exempt by the fisheries act
  • Trout - freshwater species
  • Perch - freshwater species
  • Carp - freshwater species

There are many Freshwater species of fish from around the world which are not due Levy. If in doubt, contact your Levy Auditor or refer to Fishbase for guidance.