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Certification Requirements for Ornamental Imports

Certification Requirements image

Health Certificates Required

The table below shows which animal health certificates are required for movements of ornamental aquatic animals (fish/shellfish/crustaceans) under EU Animal Health Law. Both you and your supplier should be aware of these requirements. Your supplier should arrange to have the consignment certified by the relevant authorities in the country of origin. Full text versions of any piece of European legislation can be found on the EUR-Lex website.

TYPE OF CONSIGNMENT HEALTH CERTIFICATE REQUIRED ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS
Listed ornamental species from another EU Member State  Model health certificate:

‘AQUA-INTRA-ESTAB’

Annex I, Chapter 1 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2236, as amended.

Prior registration with the Marine Institute as an importer of ornamental aquatics. 

Common Health Entry Document for Animals (CHED-A), to be created on TRACES NT at least 24 hours before arrival at EU Border Control Post (BCP) only if a consignment is transiting through a third country (i.e. Great Britain) on the way to its final destination.

Non-listed ornamental species from another EU Member State No certificate required

Prior registration with the Marine Institute as an importer of ornamental aquatics. 

No additional requirements for direct movements between member states. However, if a consignment transits through a 3rd country (such as Great Britain), then a CHED-A is required for re-entry to the EU.

Listed ornamental species from outside the EU Model health certificate:

‘AQUA-ENTRY-ESTAB/RELEASE/OTHER’

Annex II of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/617

Prior registration with the Marine Institute as an importer of ornamental aquatics. 

Common Health Entry Document for Animals (CHED-A) created on TRACES NT at least 24 hours before arrival at EU Border Control Post (BCP).

Non-listed ornamental species from outside the EU Import Health Certificate for Non-Listed Aquatic Animals_HCNLAIE This is a non-harmonised certificate in the EU and relates specifically to imports to Ireland.

Prior registration with the Marine Institute as an importer of ornamental aquatics. 

Common Health Entry Document for Animals (CHED-A) created on TRACES NT at least 24 hours before arrival at EU Border Control Post (BCP).

Pet aquatic animals (either from within EU or from outside EU) travelling with their owner Self-Certified Accompanying Document

Prior registration with the Marine Institute as an importer of ornamental aquatics. 

Limits on the number of animals which can be imported as pets.

No requirement for Common Health Entry Document (CHED-A).

 

Note: Tropical species are ornamental aquatic animals which are held in heated aquaria and which are not capable of surviving in the natural aquatic environment in Ireland. Most tropical species are non-listed but there are exceptions. A summary document with information on listed diseases, Ireland's health status, and listed species (susceptible and vectors) can be downloaded here.

The Marine Institute is the Competent Authority for the implementation of Aquatic Animal Health Regulations. Other regulations may apply when importing ornamental aquatic animals, for example the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which is overseen in Ireland by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Please note, the import or sale of genetically modified (GM) ornamental fish is currently illegal in the European Union. This includes GM varieties of Zebrafish Danio rerio  commonly known as GloFish®. In Ireland, the agency responsible for the regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Further information on the illegal import of GM Zebrafish can be found on the EPA website. If you suspect that GM ornamental fish are being sold in Ireland you should notify the EPA.

 

Veterinary Border Control Posts

Border Control Posts (BCPs) are European Union approved entry points for plants, animals, animal products, food etc. which originate from countries outside of the EU ("third countries").

If you are importing from a third country, your consignment must enter the European Community through a Border Control Post (BCP) which is authorised to accept live fish.

Imports must be pre-notified to the BCP at least 24 hours prior to arrival through the creation of a Common Health Entry Document for Animals (CHED-A) on the European Union's TRACES NT system. Access to this system in Ireland is administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine.

The following BCPs on the island of Ireland are certified to accept live fish:

  • Ports: Dublin, Rosslare, Larne & Belfast
  • Airports: Dublin

Commonly used BCPs in continental Europe for imports of live ornamental fish are Frankfurt/Main, and occasionally Amsterdam Schiphol & Zurich Airports.

Lists of EU border control posts along with their contact details can be accessed here.

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on ornamental imports