Following the implementation of the new EU Animal Health Law (Regulation (EU) 2016/429  the EU has introduced new model Animal Health Certificates for the export of aquatic animals from third countries (which includes Great Britain) to EU member states.

You will need to use the new certificate ‘AQUA-ENTRY-ESTAB/RELEASE/OTHER’ from 15 January 2022 for all exports of live aquatic animals from Great Britain to the EU (excluding those going for human consumption).  You can find the certificate in Annex II of the EU legislation here.

There are also changes to the way that exports of live aquatic animals to EU member states are certified and creates new requirements. These are:

  1. ‘AQUA-ENTRY-ESTAB/RELEASE/OTHER’ must be signed by an Official Veterinarian. At present, Cefas Fish Health Inspectors sign animal health certificates that accompany consignments of live aquatic animals from Great Britain to EU member states. They will no longer be able to do so from 15 January 2022.
  2. Consignments that are sent using this certificate must also undergo clinical inspection by an Official Veterinarian no more than 72 hours prior to loading.
  3. The certificate ‘AQUA-ENTRY-ESTAB/RELEASE/OTHER’ also requires that aquaculture establishments from which live aquatic animals are sourced receive regular animal health visits from a veterinarian.

From 15 January 2022, businesses exporting to the EU will be responsible for the cost of OV certification for these consignments.

Live aquatic animals moving from GB to Northern Ireland will also require this certificate, and to meet the above requirements, from 15 January 2022. The Movement Assistance Scheme, which was introduced specifically to support traders and businesses in meeting new requirements of the NI Protocol, will cover OV certification costs up to £150 (excluding VAT) for each consignment of live aquatic animal moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland until the end of 2023.

Veterinary practices that provide certification services can be found on ‘Find a professional to certify export health certificates – GOV.UK (’. Defra is compiling a list of Veterinarians who have expressed an interest to assist with certification of live aquatic animals using ‘AQUA-ENTRY-ESTAB/RELEASE/OTHER’ but in the meantime the advice is start making enquiries now.

Representations from a number of organisations to the Government have been made seeking for the current system of FHI certifying animal movements for our industry to continue. Defra has told us it is looking at ways to try to facilitate that with the EU.