IUU Information for Exporters 

Any export of fish or fishery produce, destined for a third country (ie a country that is not an EU Member State) must be accompanied by a Catch Certificate validated by the SFPA, if requested by the country of destination. All exports to the UK will require certification for exports.

In addition, EU catches exported to a third country and re-exported to the EU, following processing, have to be accompanied by a Catch Certificate, as the scheme applies to all unprocessed and processed products, imported into the EU, irrespective of the nationality of the fishing vessel responsible for the catch.

Catch Certificates should be raised by the exporter in relation to a consignment of fish for export on the Export Certificate System (ECS), applications can be made as a registered or unregistered applicant. Exporters requiring certification for products being exported to third countries will need to register to access the Department’s Export IT system.

The Department's online registration portal here provides a quick and easy way to register to import or export.

For additional information please see the following link, details for registration on TRACES are included also;

For more information, regarding the use of the Export Certificate System download the guidance documents below.

ECS Guidance Document for Catch Certificate This document will be required for exports of Irish Produce, always required for exports to the UK, Iceland, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Madagascar, Norway, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine; or other third countries if requested.  Requests might also be mady by Member States for exports of Irish produce, catch certificates will not be provided for movements from Ireland to another Member State, as this is not an export, only intra-trade.

ECS Guidance Document for Processing Statement This document will be required for exports of non-Irish produce, that has underwent processing in Ireland prior to export to the UK (always required), or other third countries if requested.  A copy of the catch certificate, from which the processing was undertaken, must be provided as part of the application, and to point of destination also, with the validated Processing Statement, upon provision by the SFPA.

Storage Document This document will be required for exports of non-Irish produce that have been retained under storage, where no processing has occurred in Ireland, and produce is being moved to the UK (always required), or other third country if requested.

Notes on completing a Catch Certificate and Schedule

When completing a Catch Certificate and Schedule (if required) please note the following in Section 3:

  • Species must be the scientific name and not a local name, eg NOT Horse Mackerel or Scad, but Trachurus trachurus. No Colloquial species names should be used.
  • The product code must be the correct eight-digit CN Code taken from either Chapter 3 or Headings 1604 and 1605 of the Combined Nomenclature; and NOT an internal product code used by your company / organisation 

See also the SFPA Guidance Documents below for additional detail


A schedule is used for exports multiple landings of fishery produce; this document would typically be used for exports of Nephrops norvegicus or Cancer pagurus, where individual vessel landings might be of small volume. Although this document can also be used for exports of other fishery produce. Please see link below, this document, when completed must be attached to your catch certificate application on the ECS, in pdf format.

Getting your Catch Certificate validated

Your application completed on the ECS will be reviewed, and if deemed suitable, it will be approved by the SFPA. This application must be then validated, this requires signatures from both applicant/exporter and the SFPA. Once validated, this document becomes the original, this is provided to the applicant for onward provision.

This Certificate should then be forwarded to the importer so they can liaise with the competent authority at the point of entry at the final destination (eg Border Control Post).

Further information for exporters

Guidance notes have been published for exporters taking you through the necessary steps for validation of your Catch Certificate(s) by the SFPA. These can be downloaded, along with document templates, using the links below:

SFPA IUU Export Certification Application Code of Practice (pdf)

Guide for Completing Catch Certificates (pdf)

CN Codes for Fish and Fishery Products (1) (pdf)

CN Codes for Fish and Fishery Products (2) (pdf)

IUU Handbook (pdf)

Catch Certificate - Template (Word)

Schedule to the Catch Certificate - Template (Word)

Guidance Note on Completing Catch Cert for Exporters in 3rd Countries Weights and Product Codes

If you have any further questions that cannot be answered from these pages or the guidance documents, please contact us via email or phone:

Tel: +353 (0) 23 885 9300 and ask to be put through to the IUU Office.
Mobile: +353 85 7476298