Create a UK catch certificate

Use the Fish Export Service to create a UK catch certificate for fish and shellfish caught by UK flagged vessels for export.

Service update 7th January 2021.

Further improvements have now been made to reference data in relation to species/commodity codes/presentation/states. If you identify any further issues with any reference data please contact the Fish Exports Helpline on 0330 159 1989.

To create a catch certificate, you’ll need to register on the Fish Export Service.

You’ll need a separate catch certificate for each export.

The certificate allows you to export fishery products to:

  • the EU
  • Iceland
  • Ivory Coast
  • Japan (required for mackerel, sardines, pacific saury, squid and cuttlefish)
  • Kuwait
  • Madagascar
  • Norway
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Ukraine

It also allows you to export to any other country if all or part of the product will return to the UK or go to the EU.

Some fish and shellfish are excluded from the definition of ‘fishery products’ and do not need a UK catch certificate for export.

If you land fish directly into EU ports, you’ll also need to complete:

Register for a UK catch certificate

If you have registered your business for another Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) service, you can register for the Fish Export Service by signing into your service. Go to your ‘manage account’ screen and register on the Fish Export Service by using the ‘register for more services’ button.

Before starting registration, decide who is the responsible person to register your business.

You can use an existing Government Gateway account or create a new one. Each person must have a Government Gateway account that is personal to them. Do not share Gateway accounts.

If you’re the first person to register the business you automatically become the administrator for that business. You’ll then have permission to invite and remove other team members. Make sure that you allocate at least one other team member to an administrator account role so you can share the account management.

Registration guides

Find out how to register a business for the Fish Export Service.

What you’ll need

To create a UK catch certificate, you’ll need:

  • a Government Gateway user ID and password
  • the company name and address of the exporter
  • the name of the person responsible for the export
  • the species (or Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) code)
  • its state and its presentation
  • the names or Port Letters and Numbers (PLNs) of the vessels that caught the species
  • the landing dates for each species
  • the export weights of each product
  • to specify whose waters the species were caught in - the FAO area
  • transport details for how the export will leave the UK and where it will leave from
  • the identification numbers of the containers used to export the product (if applicable)

Start now

Help guides

We have developed a range of guides and walk-through tutorials to help you with the application process.

Published 28 February 2019
Last updated 15 December 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added Japan to the list of countries the certificate applies to, along with details of which species it relates to.

  2. Updated

  3. Service update for 7 January, including system improvements.

  4. Added banner to include service updates

  5. Added video

  6. Just need the Quick Ref

  7. Added Button

  8. Removing link to the fish export service

  9. First published.