Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated (IUU) Catch Certification

Imports of marine caught fishery products are controlled through a system of checks aimed at making sure that any fish being imported was caught legally, by fishing vessels that are properly managed by the country to which they are registered.  In order to prove that an imported consignment is compliant with these rules, it must be accompanied by a catch certificate issued by the government who manages the fishing vessel.

The The Sea Fishing (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing) Order 2009 (No. 3391) makes the checking of catch certificates at Teesport the responsibility of River Tees Port Health Authority.  Sea Fisheries officers of the Marine and Management Organisation (MMO) also have powers under the Order and Port Health work closely with them and Defra (the overall policy holder) to ensure that controls are properly applied.

All imports of fish and fish products from the EU will need to submit catch certificates and where applicable, a processing statement. Submission of documents can be made via email, at least 3 days prior to arrival of the goods to enable endorsement of certificates and timely release of your container.

Any original copies can be forwarded to our offices at;

River Tees PHA
Belmont House
Rectory Lane
TS14 7FD

Further information is available at

Annex 1 of the regulations lists the exemptions from the above controls, which includes aquaculture and fresh water fish. If your import is exempt from controls, please provide a statement detailing the consignment and confirming the reason for the exemption.

Low risk imports are defined as;

  • EEA/EFTA country (Norway, Iceland, Faroe Islands).
  • Country with a bilateral agreement with the EU for IUU purposes (USA, Canada, New Zealand), e.g. fish caught by a US fishing vessel and processed in a US approved establishment.

High risk imports are defined as;

  • fish caught by other third country fishing vessel.
  • fish from EU/bilateral/EEA/EFTA countries that have been processed in a third country (indirectly imported), e.g. fish caught by a US fishing vessel and processed in a Vietnamese approved establishment.
  • Fish caught by a vessel registered to an EU/EFTA/bilateral country and subsequently processed in another third country loses its low risk status and is charged at the higher rate.

IUU Fees and Charges

Charges are based on the catch certificate type as described above, and are set out below.

Documentary check – low risk 
1-5 certificates£27.13
6-10 certificates£54.26
11-20 certificates£81.39
21 + certificates£108.51
Documentary check – high risk 
1-5 certificates£54.26
6-10 certificates£81.39
11-20 certificates£108.51
21 + certificates£135.64

For additional information, click on the link for our Q&A on importing fish.


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The Constitution 2022
Risk Management Strategy
Corporate Risk Register 2022
Sampling Policy 2022