IUU Information for Importers 

Any imports of fish or fishery products into Ireland from a third country (ie 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, eg 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 freight: minimum of three working days
  • by air freight: minimum of four 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 email 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.

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
National Seafood Centre
Co Cork

Please also note that IUU verification checks must be completed before the Border Inspection Post (BIP) carries 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 and 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.

1. 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

2. 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 has been caught in freshwater
  •  Where the fish is an aquaculture product obtained from fry or larvae   

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 as possible. Those listed with an * are compulsory:

  • Pre Notification Document
  • Annex IV Processing Statement (* if applicable)

This is required where the fish landed by a third country has been processed in an alternative third country.  The Processing Statement is completed by the processor and validated by the competent authority of the country where processing was conducted.

  • Bill of Lading
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Copy Health 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 the 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 contact us via email or phone.

Tel: +353 (0) 23 885 9300 and ask to be put through to the IUU Office
Mobile: +353 (0) 87 775 1243