Information for Importers

Any imports of fish or fishery products into Ireland from a third country (i.e. from a country not within the EU) must be accompanied with a Catch Certificate that has been validated by the Competent Authorities of the flag state to which the vessel that caught the fish belongs.

For imports to be allowed into Ireland, importers must notify the IUU Office by forwarding a completed pre-notification document along with the original Catch Certificate with the Importers Declaration completed (by the importer or someone acting on their behalf e.g. a forwarding agent); or a certified copy of the original Catch Certificate from the country of Export, where applicable, and any other supporting documents (see below for list of acceptable supporting documents).

Notification periods for imports of fish or fishery products into Ireland are as follows:

  • by sea frieght : minimum of 3 working days
  • by air freight : minimum of 4 hours

We would advise that these notice periods are treated as a minimum condition and that as much notice as possible is given to avoid any delays in the verification process.

You may send copies of your documents via e-mail to enable the IUU Office to start the verification process; but please note that full verification will not be given until the necessary original documents have been received into this office.  You will need to provide the original Annex IV Processing Statement if the fish has been processed by a third country different to that of the flag state of the landing vessel, or the original Exemption Statement if the products were caught prior to 01/01/2010.

The e-mail address for this office is

We would recommend that you post your original documentation via Registered Post, and send to:

IUU Office, SFPA, Clogheen, Clonakilty, Co Cork, Ireland.

Please also note that IUU verification checks must be completed before the Border Inspection Post (BIP) will carry out their health and veterinary checks.  Clearance of your products for the purposes of IUU does not guarantee that your product will successfully clear the BIP checks.

Pre Notification Documents & Products Exempt from the Catch Certification Scheme:

There are two pre-notification documents depending on whether your imports is subject to full verification checks under the IUU Regulations and the Catch Certification Scheme or are exempt from it.

Annex I is to be completed for all fish / fishery products that are subject to the Catch Certification Scheme.  Typically these are products that come under the following headings in the Combined Nomenclature (also known as CN Codes or Tariff Headings):

  • Any product listed in Chapter 3
  • Products which fall under the Headings 1604 and 1605

Annex I(A) is to be completed for all fish / fishery products that are classed as exempt from the Catch Certification Scheme.  Even though these items will not be accompanied by a Catch Certificate, the SFPA still require pre-notification.  Products are exempt if they fall under any of the following catergories:

  • Falls outside Chapter 3 or Headings 1604 and 1605 of the CN
  • Are listed as an exempt product in the Annexes to the following Regulations
    • Annex I 1005/2008 (as amended by Annex I of 202/2011)
    • Annex I 202/2011
  • Where the fish originates from within any Member State of the EU
  • Where the fish has been caught in freshwater
  • Where the fish is an aquaculture product obtained from fry or larvae
  • Where the fish was landed prior to 01/01/2010
  • Where the importer is an APEO (enquire at the IUU Office for further information)

Where productst are exempt from the Catch CertificationS cheme due to the product being landed prior to 01/01/2010, an original Exemption Statement from the Competent Authorities of its place of origin must be provided to the IUU Office. 

Acceptable Supporting Documents to Support the Catch Certificate:

An importer, or a person / organisation acting on their behalf, should provide as many of the following pieces of supporting documentation with their Catch Certificate.  Those listed with an * are compulsory:

  • Pre Notification Document *
  • Exemption Statement (* if applicable)
  • Annex IV Processing Statement (* if applicable)
    • This is required where the fish landed by a third country has been processed in some way by a different third country.  The Processing Statement is completed by the processor and Validated by the Competent Authority of the country where processing was conducted (typical example is canned Tuna from Thailand).
  • Bill of Lading *
  • Commercial Invoice *
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Copy Health Certificate (* if the product is classed as Exempt and therefore not travelling with a Catch Certificate)
  • Any other documents you have in support of your consignment that you feel would be of use in our Verification process. 

Further Information for Importers:

Guidance Notes have been published for Importers taking you through the necessary steps for Verification of your Catch Certificate(s) by the SFPA.  These can be downloaded using the links below:

If you have any further questions that cannot be answered from these pages or the Guidance Documents, please do contact us via e-mail or phone:


phone: +353 (0)23 88 59300 and ask to be put through to the IUU Office

alternative phone: +353 (0)86 040 2379

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