We have consolidated all the advice we have received from Fish Health Inspectorate to help GB businesses which export live ornamental fish to Northern Ireland.
Following exit from the EU, four options are available for GB businesses for exporting non-susceptible live fish and shellfish to the island of Ireland:
- Consignments of ornamental aquatic animals are brought into a GB Border Control Post (BCP) where they are cleared to GB standards and are released. The animals are then taken to the importers premises where they are held pending an inspection and certification by the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI). Inspections by the FHI need to be booked at least 5 working days in advance using the EXP1 form and inspections can take place up to 72 hours in advance of the export. Once certified by the FHI the animals can then go to Ireland where they will have to enter Northern Ireland through a designated port of entry or the Republic of Ireland through a BCP designated for live fish. The responsible operator has to give prior notification of the arrival of the consignment to the border control post in the Republic of Ireland or to the designated port of entry in Northern Ireland.
- Consignments of ornamental aquatic animals are brought into a GB airport and are health certified to their final destination in Ireland by the Competent Authority of the exporting country. The animals remain airside and are not cleared at the UK BCP and are transhipped directly on another flight or by bonded road transport to their final destination via in Northern Ireland through a designated port of entry or the Republic of Ireland through a BCP designated for live fish. The responsible operator has to give prior notification of the arrival of the consignment to the border control post in the Republic of Ireland or to the designated port of entry in Northern Ireland.
- Consignments for the island of Ireland are brought into a GB airport where part of the consignment is moved into GB and part of whole is directly shipped to Ireland. When importing into GB for direct onward transport to NI you will need:
- A whole consignment health certificate to a GB destination. Remind the exporter to get their authorities to use the new GB certificate. That certificate should make it clear for GB BCP staff which boxes are for onward travel to NI. The suggestion is you have these boxes numbered 1 to N on the GB packing list/invoice, labelled to show they are going to the NI destination.
- An EU model health certificate from source to destination in NI. The packing list on this certificate should match exactly the number of boxes and their contents as the parts of the GB packing list which is marked for travel to NI.
- The boxes destined to NI will also need two transport labels, one to GB and one to NI.
- Consignments of ornamental aquatic animals are brought into any of the EU BCP’s where they are cleared to the standard of the Member State in which the final destination lies (NI and RoI) and released. They are then either flown to Ireland where they can enter via any airport. Or taken by road where they will transit GB en route to Ireland where they can only enter via in Northern Ireland through a designated port of entry or the Republic of Ireland through a BCP designated for live fish. The responsible operator has to give prior notification of the arrival of the consignment to the border control post in the EU.
In all circumstances when moving live fish and shellfish to Northern Ireland from a source in Great Britain.
- your consignment must be accompanied by an animal health certificate.
- you need to apply to the FHI, Cefas, for an animal health certificate using form EXP1, giving a minimum of 5 working days’ notice in advance of the movement. Along with the EXP1 application.
- your goods must enter Northern Ireland through a designated point of entry where they will be subject to documentary, identity, and physical checks. Designated entry points are located at Belfast and Larne port. Aquatic animals cannot be posted directly destinations in Northern Ireland, they must travel by road/ferry to these points of entry.
- the movement must be pre-notified through TRACES-NT, which will be the system for processing movements of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods in Northern Ireland. This is the responsibility of your customer or their Agent and they should check how much notice needs to be given to the designated point of entry.
- make sure your consignment meets all labelling requirements for arrival at the designated point of entry and transport to destination.
- make sure you have the correct EORI numbers.
- You, or the transporter you employ to deliver the consignment must be authorised to transport live animals and must follow animal welfare during transport rules. Contact APHA for more information.
It is worth remembering that the new NI BCPs will be staffed by people unfamiliar with clearing fish shipments and will probably expect everything to be perfect. They do not have in place systems like we have in GB for isolating stock or controlling animals under Reg 23 and 16, so importers need to stress the need for accuracy in the export paperwork to their trade partners.
In case of transit from the EU through the United Kingdom to the EU, live animals have to be accompanied by an intra-Union trade document. They must be presented for official controls to the competent authority of the exit point or of the border control post of exit from the EU and to the border control post at the re-entry into the EU, including the respective notifications in TRACES. At the border control post of re-entry, each consignment undergoes a documentary check to verify that the animals originate in the EU. The responsible operator has to give prior notification of the arrival of the consignment to the border control post of re-entry into the EU. These provisions apply regardless of the conditions which might be required by the United Kingdom to transit on its territory. Transit rules for movements through the GB landbridge are not yet finalised, but will be in place before all EU sourced consignments have to enter GB through a BCP.
For more information on exporting or moving live fish and shellfish please see Exporting or moving live fish and shellfish.
Contact the Fish Health Inspectorate on 01305 206700.
Movement Assistance Scheme
A Movement Assistance Scheme has been set up to help businesses which trade with Northern Ireland. You can find out more here. There’s also a telephone hotline to give businesses a real person to talk to about issues that still puzzle them! Call them on 0330 0416 580 Monday to Friday.