Check if you need a certificate to export live fish, molluscs, crustaceans and amphibia for aquaculture and ornamental purposes
What you need to do to export live fish or shellfish depends on whether you’re exporting them:
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal
Read the guidance on exporting and importing live aquatic animals if the UK leaves the EU without a deal
Within the EU: current rules
Check with the Competent Authority for aquatic animal health in the destination country to find out if you need an export animal health certificate.
If a certificate is required, you will need to apply to your Fish Health Inspectorate, who will also advise you whether the certification requirements can be met.
Apply for an export health certificate
You apply for an export animal health certificate by submitting an export notification at least 5 working days before you export.
The form you fill in depends on whether you’re exporting from:
You’ll get a certificate when your application is approved. If required by the destination country:
- your goods will be inspected first
- for EU movements, a TRACES notification will be made for you
Attach the certificate to your consignment.
Outside the EU: current rules
If your goods aren’t being used as food, check with the Competent Authority for aquatic animal health in the destination country (or their embassy in the UK to find out what documentation you need. If a certificate is required, you will need to apply to your Fish Health Inspectorate, who will also advise you whether the certification requirements can be met.
Your fish health inspectorate can help you get the right documents.
Endangered fish and shellfish
Use the Species+tool to search for your fish or shellfish. Check which annex (A, B, C or D) it’s classified as under EU wildlife trade regulations.
If Species+ says the fish or shellfish is banned, you can’t export the product.
Within the EU
If the fish or shellfish is classed as B, C or D, you don’t need to do anything. If it’s classed as Annex A, you must apply for an Article 10 certificate.
You don’t need any special documents if you’re using or displaying goods for non-commercial reasons, for example scientific research or in an educational display.
Apply for an Article 10 certificate
Fill in either:
You can use theto help you.
- a copy of the import permit
- a previous Article 10 certificate (use the yellow copy)
The certificate costs £31.
You should get your certificate within 15 working days.
Outside the EU
If it’s classed as A, B or C, you need a CITES export permit. If it’s classed as D, check the animal’s CITES listing in the Species+ tool. If it’s in Appendix III, you’ll need a CITES export permit. Otherwise you don’t need to do anything.
Apply for a CITES permit
Fill in either:
Use theif you need help.
A permit costs £63 (or £37 to re-export). You should receive it within 15 working days.
If you’re exporting as part of conservation work, you might be able to get a fee waiver through:
You can use theif you’re unsure how to fill it in.
Regular exports for public exhibition
If you regularly take fish or shellfish abroad for a short period of time for public exhibitions,instead of a CITES permit. You’ll also need to follow the usual rules for exporting fish.
You can use the certificate whether you’re moving goods within or outside the EU. You can add multiple specimen types in one application if needed. It’s valid for 3 years and means you don’t need to apply for permission each time you take your display items abroad.
To apply, fill in
Fish Health Inspectorate in England and Wales
Fish Health Inspectorate
Telephone: 01305 206700
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Fish Health Inspectorate in Scotland
Fish Health Inspectorate
Telephone: 01224 295525
Fax: 01224 295620
Northern Ireland Fish Division
Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA)
Fisheries and Environment Division
Telephone: 028 9056 9262
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
Telephone: 0345 933 5577
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm