Detailed guide: Temporary fish exports guidance

Marine Management Organisation

November 24
11:46 2020

Exporting fish to the EU

The digital manage fish exports service is currently unavailable. For trade continuity, editable PDF versions of the forms mentioned below are available. You can access the documentation you need by emailing your request to

The following guidance has been created to reflect this temporary system outage.

To export wild-caught marine fish to the EU, youll need:

  • a catch certificate
  • an export health certificate, except for direct landings in EU ports from UK-flagged fishing vessels

You may also need:

  • a prior notification form
  • a pre-landing declaration
  • a storage document
  • a processing statement

The EU uses these documents to monitor fishing activity and to detect illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Youll also need to comply with HMRC guidance on customs requirements for exporting to the EU.

Rules will apply to:

  • exports to the EU of fish caught by a UK flagged fishing vessel
  • exports to the EU of fish imported from another country that have been stored or processed in the UK
  • direct landings in EU ports by a UK flagged fishing vessel

This guidance on rules and export documents already applies to UK caught fish that is exported to these non-EU countries:

  • Iceland
  • Ivory Coast
  • Kuwait
  • Madagascar
  • Norway
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Ukraine

Send fish to an EU border inspection post

Youll need to send all consignments of fish and fishery products through an EU [border inspection post (BIP) if the fish was both:

  • caught by a UK flagged vessel
  • landed in the UK before being transported to the EU by sea, air, road or rail

Create a catch certificate

Youll need a catch certificate for most exports of fish to the EU. The catch certificate shows that the fish was caught legally.

The catch certificate must include:

If youre exporting fish that came from multiple vessels, youll need to specify quantities from each vessel.

To get a catch certificate to export a consignment of fish from the UK to the EU youll need to email requesting the relevant documentation for each consignment of fish.

When youve received and completed the form, you need to:

Email the completed catch certificate form to the UK fisheries authority. They will validate and store your catch certificate and email it back to you.

Catch certificates will be rejected if there are any inaccuracies or spelling mistakes so please check before submitting. Make sure you include correct email address on the form so the validating authority can send it back to you.

It is important to note that all documents submitted will be dealt with on a first come, first serve basis.

Once you have received your validated document, email the catch certificate to your EU importer to complete their sections or print/save a copy to present to border officials.

You wont need a catch certificate to export:

  • farmed fish and farmed shellfish
  • freshwater fish or freshwater shellfish
  • fish fry or larvae
  • some molluscs including cuttlefish, scallops, mussels, cockles and oysters, but you may still need a live shellfish registration document - contact your local council for more information

Method of transport

Youll need to include transport details on the catch certificate. These will include by:

  • sea: the container numbers and the name and flag of the container vessel
  • air: the airway bill or flight number
  • road: the registration number of the vehicle or CMR note
  • rail: the railway bill number

If you dont know any of these details, check with your transport agent.

Youll need to send the validated catch certificate to the importer so they can give it to the receiving countrys competent authority. You must do this for exports by:

  • sea: 72 hours before landing
  • air and rail: 4 hours before arriving
  • road: 2 hours before arriving

Get help with catch certificates and supporting documents

During a system outage the service is only contactable via email

Get an export health certificate

Youll need an Export Health Certificate (EHC) for all exports of fish to the EU, including farmed fish and shellfish. You wont need an EHC for direct landings in an EU port from a UK flagged fishing vessel.

Read guidance on how to get an EHC.

Direct landing documents

To land your catch from your UK flagged fishing vessel directly in the EU youll need to land in a designated EU port

Fishery enforcement officers may inspect your fish when you arrive. Youll need to show them the catch certificate.

Youll need to complete a:

  • prior notification form
  • pre-landing declaration

Prior notification form

Youll need to fill in a prior notification form and email it to your destination designated EU port.

You need to send it:

  • for frozen fish, at least 72 hours before landing
  • for fresh fish, at least 4 hours before landing

Pre-landing declaration

Youll need to fill in a pre-landing declaration and email it to your destination designated EU port 4 hours before landing.

Youll need to give details of the:

  • area fished
  • quantity of fish by species on board the vessel

North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) Port State Control forms

If you havent already, you will have to register your fishing vessel with

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