SFPA Customer Charter


The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority has a wide range of customers, including the food industry, the marine fishing industry, the marine aquaculture industry, the media, members of the general public and personnel from state agencies and government departments. This Charter sets out the standards of service we are committed to delivering for our customers. 

Telephone Calls 

We aim to answer all phone calls received within the hours of 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday. 

If your call is transferred to our voicemail we will endeavour to respond to your message within one working day. 

We will be helpful and courteous and provide you with as much information as possible. However if we cannot deal with your query immediately we will take your details and call you back as soon as possible. 

Our opening hours and any specific dates on which the office may be closed will be clearly indicated on our telephone answering service. We will respect your privacy and deal with your enquiry or complaint in confidence. 


We aim to acknowledge your e mail within two working days and respond to your enquiry within five working days. If the preparation of a reply requires more than five working days we will inform you of this. 

We will ensure all our e mail correspondence includes a contact name, telephone number and e mail address. 

When your enquiry is relevant to a department or agency other than the SFPA we will forward your query and inform you that we have done so and to whom it has been forwarded. 

Letter or fax 

We aim to acknowledge receipt of all such correspondence within five working days of receipt, and Issue a substantive reply to a query within twenty working days. Where this is not possible we will advise you of the reasons for the delay. In particular, complex matters and matters of a legal nature can require longer time frames. 

We will provide a contact name, address and telephone number in all correspondence issued. 

We will endeavour to ensure that all replies to queries are in clear, concise and easily understood language. 

Personal Callers 

We aim to ensure that the reception area is properly staffed during office opening hours. 

We will ensure that you are seen punctually where appointments have been made. 

We will treat all customers in a polite, courteous and fair manner. 

We will provide facilities which are safe, accessible, and maintained to a high standard. 

We will respect your privacy and confidentiality.  

Website (www.sfpa.ie) 

We will strive to ensure that our website is kept up-to-date at all times. 

We aim to ensure the information on our website is clear and accurate, and where possible, technical terms will be explained. 

We will strive to ensure our website is easy to access and navigate. 

We will maintain our website in compliance with the Website Accessibility Initiative (WAI), Level 2. 

We will provide facilities for making an enquiry or complaint on our website. 

We aim to acknowledge enquiries or complaints made via the website within two working days, and  issue a response to a query within 20 working days where information is readily available. 

Help us to help you

 Please quote any relevant reference numbers when you telephone us, or in any written correspondence. 

Ensure to include your name, address and a daytime telephone number or email address is provided in your correspondence. 

Be as clear as possible about your enquiry or complaint and give us as much detail as possible. 

Please treat our staff politely and with respect. 

Official Languages 

Where you request to be dealt with in Irish we will do our best to facilitate you. 

We will reply in Irish where correspondence is received in Irish. 

We will publish key documents in Irish and English.

How to Complain 

If you are unhappy with the service provided to you, you have the right to complain. We believe the most effective and fastest way to resolve a complaint and achieve a satisfactory resolution is to deal with the issue at the point where the service was provided. We therefore aim to: 

  • Deal with all complaints in an open, objective and fair manner. 
  • Ensure that all formal complaints are acknowledged within 5 working days and responded within 10 working days.

Where the subject matter of your complaint raises complex issues, we will keep you informed of the extended timeframe required.

Availing of our complaints procedure will not prejudice your rights to raise issues with the Ombudsman or lodge, within the statutory time limit, a formal complaint to the Complaints Officer as provided for under Section 49 of The Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006.

Further information on our Complaints Procedure is available on our website at the following link - http://www.sfpa.ie/corporateaffairs/customerservice/complaints

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