ATTENTION: New animal health rules relating to live aquaculture animals transiting through GB en route to EU come into effect on 31st January 2024.

As already indicated in our last newsletter, the new regulation has major implications for everyone in the industry. Despite the implementation date being so close, there are still ongoing talks to ensure sufficient resources are put in place. Potential additional costs are also yet to be confirmed. What is definite is that there will be no certification available for any shellfish originating from Lough Foyle or for any flat oysters (O. edulis) transiting via the Landbridge in Great Britain from January 31st 2024.
The full text for the announcement from the SFPA is given below:

Full animal health certification will be required for all live aquatic animals transiting GB. i.e. the same certification process as required for animals which are being exported into GB. Critically, this includes Live Bivalve Molluscs (LBMs) intended for further treatment involving re-immersion before human consumption.

This note provides further information to the notice published on 22 November on the process for obtaining Animal Health Certificates for live aquaculture animals transiting the GB Landbridge.

New Certification Procedure for Live Aquaculture Animals Transiting Great Britain:

  1. Operators must submit an application to export LBMs to the Marine Institute (MI) online portal at least 4 days prior to consignment departure. The MI requires adequate notice (4 days) in order to co-ordinate a certifying officer and onsite inspection.
  2. Applications can be submitted via the online portal:
    Ensure that you identify the application as ‘TRANSIT’ on the transport section of the application.
    Contact if you require login credentials.
  3. The MI will prepare the required animal health certificate on TRACES NT and coordinate an onsite inspection by a certifying officer. The certificate will be digitally signed by the certifying officer on TRACES NT. No paper copy of the certificate will be available. Therefore, the operator or their agent will require access to TRACES NT in order to access the certificate.
  4. Once the health certificate has been digitally signed you will be able to download a pdf copy from TRACES NT, which the operator or their agent can use to complete IPAFFS pre-notification for the UK authorities. Completion on IPAFFS must be made by a GB-based representative.

Arrangements for Operators Using O’Toole Transport:

O’Toole Transport is the major transporter of aquaculture animal consignments through the Landbridge. Therefore, special arrangements will be in place for consignments transported by O’Toole Transport.

  1. Full consignment details must be forwarded by the operator to O’Toole Transport as soon as possible. Details must include the Fish Health Approval number of the Aquaculture Establishment from which the consignment originates. O’Toole Transport will convey minimum time lines for receiving the necessary consignment details.
  2. O’Toole Transport will initiate preparation of the animal health certificate by completing part I of the certificate on TRACES NT on behalf of the operator.
  3. The MI will Complete part two of the animal health certificate on TRACES NT. Inspection of the consignment will take place at the O’Toole Transport hub in Dublin prior to dispatch.
  4. O’Toole Transport will complete pre-notification of the consignment to UK authorities on the IPAFF system.

Queries regarding this information note should be addressed to

Important Notes:

  • Inspections can be undertaken within 72hrs prior to consignment loading.
  •  Health certificates can be issued Monday to Friday for consignments using the Landbridge.  Consignments may depart over the weekend providing that certification inspection occurs within the 72hr window prior to consignment departure.
  • The Marine Institute provides service 9am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday
  • Operators or their agent should ensure that they have access to TRACES NT in order to view and download the completed animal health certificates.
  • Operators or their agent must be registered with IPAFFS to complete pre-notification to the UK authorities.
  • Animal health certificates can only be provided for consignments originating from an Aquaculture Establishment Approved by the competent authority.

Animal health certification is not required for the following Live Bivalve Molluscs (LBMs):

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,

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.

LBMs meeting these criteria will however require certification by the Sea-fisheries Protection Authority


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