Registration of Importers of Fish and/or Fishery Products

Under EU regulations, people dealing with the importation of fish and fish products for business must register first.

Under the European Communities (Veterinary Checks on Fish and Fishery Products Imported from Third Countries) Regulations 2003, the following categories of persons must register with the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority:

  1. An importer defined as a person who causes live bivalve molluscs, fish and/or fishery products to be brought into Ireland
  2. An agent of an importer defined as a person who acts as an agent for a person who causes live bivalve molluscs, fish and/or fishery products to be brought into Ireland

The Regulations give effect to the provisions in EC Council Directives 89/662/EEC of 11 December 1989, 90/425/EEC of 26 June 1990 and Council Directive 97/78/EC of 18 December 1997. It is a breach of the Regulations for an unregistered person to deal in imported fish and fishery products or to accept delivery as a consignee of an imported fish and or fishery products, other than a product for personal use or domestic consumption. If you or your company are currently engaged in this business or intend to be so engaged in the future, please download and complete the application form from the link below and return it to:

Food Safety Unit
Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority
Park Road
Co. Cork

Please do not send applications by fax

On receipt of your application, a Sea-Fisheries Protection Officer from the Food Safety Unit will contact you regarding your application and may require further information.  

Third country imports

Under the provisions of Regulation 6(2) of the European Communities (Veterinary Checks on Fish and Fishery Products Imported from Third Countries) Regulations 2003 (S.I. No. 548 of 2003), an importer is required to give at least 24 hours notice of intent to import fish/fishery product(s) of animal origin to the border inspection post at the port or airport of entry.

Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED)

In accordance with international trade agreements, the EU has set down the conditions for trade in fish and fish products with non-EU countries, which require that the exporting country be approved by the EU as having veterinary controls at least equivalent to those of the EU. For trade, fish products must have originated in an area where there are no restrictions imposed under EU safeguard measures, come from establishments that are under the supervision and control of the competent authorities, must be correctly labelled, and travel with the specific health certificate conforming to the models laid down in EU legislation. Imports into the EU must be presented for veterinary inspection at an approved EU Border Inspection Post (BIP) following the submission of the Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) to the BIP.

The CVED must be used in accordance with EU Regulation 136/2004 for the purpose of providing at least 24 hours advance notice of the intent to import animal products, which includes fish and fish products, from third countries into the European Union. There are guidance notes to assist completing the CVED in Regulation 136/2004, while the copy of the CVED in Annex III is only for instructional purposes.

The authorised version of CVED acceptable at Irish border inspection posts is printed on green paper and has a large Irish harp in the background.

Please note: Photocopied versions will not be accepted. Photocopied CVED notification or notifications on other than this version of the CVED form will be rejected and returned to you. Therefore, clearance of your consignment will be delayed while the authorities wait for the correct documentation.

CVED forms are available from the Border Inspection Posts, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority.

An importer must give at least 24 hours notice of intent to import fish and/or fish products from third countries to the EU-approved Border Inspection Post (BIP) at the port or airport through which it is intended to import the fish and /or fish products, by completing and forwarding Part 1 of the CVED form in advance of import, to the BIP of first entry into the EU. Part Two of this document is for BIP use only and relates to the veterinary checks that are carried out before any product may be cleared.

The Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) with Part 1 completed shoud be sent to the Border Inspection Post of entry:

Dublin Seaport,
Portal Veterinary Office,
Bond Road,
Dublin 3,

Tel: +353 (0) 1 855 6250 
Fax: +353 (0) 1 836 3457

Shannon Airport
Portal Veterinary Office,
Shannon Airport,
Co Clare

Tel: +353 (0) 61 471 546
Fax: +353 (0) 61 471 549

Dublin Airport is not approved as a Border Inspecton Post for the importation of fish and fishery products.

A copy MUST ALSO BE faxed to:

Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority Headquarters
Park Road,
Co. Cork.

Tel: +353 (0) 23 8859300
Fax: +353 (0) 23 8859720


Inspection fees will apply in line with EU Regulation 882 of 2004. In accordance with arrangements made with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the fee will be payable at the BIP at the time of inspection. Payment should be made by cheque or money order but not cash. Under Directive 97/78/EC products cannot be release from a BIP until the fee has been paid. Under Council directive 97/78/EC a consignment means a quantitiy of products of the same type covered by the same veterinary certificate conveyed in the same means of transport and coming from the same third country. In practice what this means is that a fee will be charged per veterinary certificate.

 Queries on any of the above information can be addressed to