Imported fish

Most fish imported to the UK from another country is covered by the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing regulation (IUU).

A validated catch certificate is needed to prove that the fish was legally sourced.

EU origin fish

Imported EU fish consignments are excluded from the IUU customs hold. 

All imports of Bluefin Tuna, Antarctic and Patagonian Toothfish are still subject to a customs hold.

Third country origin fish

All imported fish products from non-EU countries are subject to an IUU customs hold.

Products subject to import checks

The IUU Regulation applies to imports of:

  • Marine caught fishery products including shrimps, prawns, squid, cuttlefish and scampi, unless it is freshwater
  • Composite products made up of any wild caught fish content and other ingredients. Further information on goods classification can be found on the government's website

Exclusions from the Regulation are:

  • Freshwater, farmed (aquaculture) fish
  • Marine fish imported for ornamental purposes 
  • Clams and other bivalve molluscs

What do I need to do?

Importers must notify Port Health at least 4 working hours before each consignment's arrival at the port via a pre-notification form.

Supporting documentation such as a catch certificate, commercial documents, airway bill, invoice and packing list can be attached to the pre-notification or emailed to

The endorsed catch certificate paperwork will be returned to the agent, who will need to submit a copy to HMRC to enable the consignment to be released.

Documentary check

Documentary checks are undertaken for all imports to ensure that the catch certificate and associated paperwork relates to the consignment, and is valid.

A notice will be served as a result of unsatisfactory catch certificate checks.

Fees and charges

Fees for catch certificate checks are detailed on the Port Health charges list. See our Port Health fees and charges page for the list of costs.