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Home > Environment > Environmental Health > Port Health > IUU Catch Certificates

IUU Catch Certificates

Fish market

Combatting illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU): 

Illegal fishing has environmental, social, and economic impacts. As well as direct impacts on the sustainability of fish stocks and efforts to manage fisheries as a sustainable resource, there are also indirect impacts on local fishermen and communities who are dependent on fish stocks for their own consumption and livelihood. 

Europe wide import controls, introduced by the EC in 2008, aim to cut out Europe as a market for illegal fish. 

To prove that an imported consignment is compliant with regulations, it must be accompanied by a catch certificate issued by the government that manages the fishing vessel. 

Port Health works with the Marine and Management Organisation (MMO) and DEFRA to ensure that controls are properly applied. 

Third Country origin

Products Subject to Import Checks


The Regulation applies to marine caught fishery products.  Freshwater and farmed (aquaculture) fish and marine fish imported for ornamental purposes fall outside of the scope of the Regulation 1005/2008. Annex I of the Retained EU Regulation 202/2011 (amending Annex I Of Retained EU Regulation 1005/2008).

Composite Products


Products made up of fish and other ingredients may be covered by the regulations. If the product falls under CN Code 03, 1604 or 1605, a catch certificate will be required. This applies where there is any wild caught fish content.  

You may be asked to provide written confirmation from HMRC Tariff Classification team https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ask-hmrc-for-advice-on-classifying-your-goods of the commodity code for your goods. 

Pre-notification


The Regulation requires importers to notify Port Health 2 working hours before the consignment is landed. The importer will be required to register for a PHILIS account to enable completion of the online pre-notification form which may take several days to be approved. Once approved, a confirmation email will be received by the importer which will contain their log in details and organisation number.

A ‘help’ section can be found under the support button within the PHILIS system once you have logged in which provides information on how to submit a pre-notification. You will have to complete the mandatory boxes and then save and submit the pre-notification. A box will appear stating ‘Submitted successfully. Supporting documentation (catch certificate, sea waybill, invoice, packing list etc.) can be attached to the pre-notification or e-mailed to porthealth@dover.gov.uk

Documentary Check


All imports will be subjected to a documentary check to ensure that the catch certificate and associated paperwork relates to the consignment and that it is valid.  The catch certificate template will be checked along with the stamps and signatures of the Flag State, vessel details against the list of vessels known to have been engaged in illegal fishing activities, catch areas and Regional Fishery Management Organisation information where applicable.

Where there may be a discrepancy between the catch certificate and associated paperwork, additional checks may be undertaken on the consignment including identity and physical checks and DNA analysis for fish species identification.

Satisfactory Checks

Upon completion of satisfactory checks, the paperwork will be signed and stamped by the Port Health Authority and returned to the agent who will need to submit a copy of the endorsed catch certificate to HMRC to enable the consignment to be released.

Unsatisfactory Checks

Where checks are undertaken on a catch certificate and significant issues are discovered which are in breach on the Regulations, a notice will be served.  Depending on the reason for the unsatisfactory checks, the importer may be able to re-export the product outside of the country.  However, if the fish is deemed to have been fished illegally it may be confiscated or destroyed.

Document you need to submit

When port health are completing checks on a IUU Consignment there are certain documents that we will need to see to be able to endorse your catch certificates and the consignment itself. We have put together an IUU Importer Checklist to help you ensure you have all documentation needed for a fish consignment.

EU Origin


EU Origin From 1 January 2021, EU origin marine caught fishery products which are imported into Great Britain will fall within the scope of the IUU Regulations. 

There will not be any IUU Customs hold on consignments of fish from the EU covered by the IUU requirements from the 1 January 2021. Importers will still need to pre-notify Port Health of these imports and submit their IUU documents in advance to PHAs, in-line with the IUU Regulations. The only exception to this will be for imports of Bluefin Tuna and Antarctic and Patagonian Toothfish which will be subject to a Customs hold. Imports from non-EU countries will continue to have a Customs hold on fish products.

These imports are required to be pre-notified at least 2 hours before the estimated time of arrival at the port.  Our office hours are Monday – Friday 09:00 – 17:00 hours.  If you have a consignment which is due to arrive on Saturday at 13:00 hours, this would need to be pre-notified by 13:00 hours on Friday.

The importer will be required to register for a PHILIS account to enable completion of the online pre-notification form which may take several days to be approved. Once approved, a confirmation email will be received by the importer which will contain their log in details and organisation number. 

A ‘help’ section can be found under the support button within the PHILIS system once you have logged in which provides information on how to submit a pre-notification. You will have to complete the mandatory boxes and then save and submit the pre-notification. A box will appear stating ‘Submitted successfully'.

*Consignment means products which are either

  • sent simultaneously from one exporter to one consignee, or
  • covered by a single transport document covering their shipment from the exporter to the consignee.

Fees and Charges


Fees are payable for checking documentation and examination or sampling consignments should it prove necessary.

Our current fees and charges can be found here

Please email porthealth@dover.gov.uk to set up a payment account prior to the arrival of an Import.

Contact 

Telephone: 01304 872216

Email: porthealth@dover.gov.uk