Back to top

BREXIT UPDATE: Transit of Live shellfish from Ireland to the EU through the GB landbridge

22 Nov 2023

The UK authorities have now communicated their animal health rules for the transit of live aquatic animals including shellfish through the GB landbridge. The rules are a significant change and will require operators or their agent to take action if they are moving live shellfish through the landbridge.  

The new rules apply to transits of live shellfish intended for ongrowing or re-immersion for further treatment including depuration and relaying*. Importantly, this includes Live Bivalve Molluscs shellfish (LBMs) that have previously travelled with only a shellfish registration document (commonly called gatherer’s documents).

From 31st January all consignments of live aquaculture shellfish transiting GB will require full animal health certification. The steps involved in this process are;

  • The operator or their agent notifies the competent authority with details of the intended transit.
  • The competent authority organises inspection of the consignment.
  • A certifying officer will undertake the inspection

It should be noted that we will not be able to certify native oysters (ostrea edulis) for transit through the landbridge as IE is unable to meet the UK health standards required for this species.

The rules apply from the 31st January 2024 and transit consignments may be subject to UK checks after that that date.

You will appreciate that this is a significant operational change for all stakeholders. The Marine Institute is currently exploring the mechanism for facilitating this movement with colleagues in DAFM and we will communicate these details as soon as they are available.

Please contact the Marine Institute via or call 091 387200 if you wish to discuss further.



Certification is not required for the following Live Bivalve Molluscs (LBMs).

1.  LBMs placed on the market for human consumption without further processing, provided that they are packed in retail-sale packages which comply with the provisions for such packages in Regulation (EC) No 853/2004,

2.  LBMs which are intended for further processing before human consumption without temporary storage at the place of processing and packed and labelled for that purpose in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 853/2004.