Import Guidance

Imports of fish and seafood from outside the EU are very strictly regulated, with requirements for health certification and traceability for all imports and further guarantees in other specific consignments.

The UK imported seafood to the value of £2.6billion in 2012 from other European Union countries or from non-EU countries.

While movements of fish and fishery products are largely unrestricted within the EU, imports of fish and seafood from outside the EU are very strictly regulated. There are requirements for health certification and traceability for all imports and further guarantees on other specific consignments.

At the border, Port Health officials carry out a number of checks on the consignment. Precisely which checks they carry out depends on the consignment, on the exporting country, and latest advice from the European Commission.

Seafish maintains an up-to-date a guide for importers below. You can alternatively download the printable version of the Seafish guide here (last updated August 2010.)

Why have controls on seafood imports? +

Regulation: The Legal Context +

Principal legislation +

Who does what in the UK? +

Devolved responsibilities +

Who does what in Europe? +

Third countries +

Third countries that can export seafood to the EU +

Countries with a bilateral export agreement with the UK +

Can I import from my new contact outside the EU? +

Establishments that are not on the approved list +

Products covered by veterinary checks +

Before the Border Inspection Post: What needs to be in place before the consignment arrives at the Border Inspection Post? +

Before the Border Inspection Post: What is TRACES and how do I get it? +

At the Border Inspection Post: What happens at the BIP? +

At the Border Inspection Post: Documentary check +

At the Border Inspection Post: Identity check +

At the Border Inspection Post: Physical check +

At the Border Inspection Post: Do trade samples or samples for research need a CVED? +

At the Border Inspection Post: Requirements for packaging +

At the Border Inspection Post: What do I have to pay? +

At the Border Inspection Post: Fresh fish landings from third country-flagged vessels +

At the Border Inspection Post: Rejected consignments +

At the Border Inspection Post: Consignments intended for transit +

At the Border Inspection Post: Personal imports +

At the Border Inspection Post: Customs +

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