Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU)

EU Origin Fish Arriving via Eurotunnel

From 1 January 2021, EU origin marine caught fishery products, with the exception of farmed fish and scallops,  which are imported into Great Britain  fall within the scope of the IUU Regulations.  

There will not be an IUU customs hold on consignments of fish from the EU covered by the IUU regulations from the 1 January 2021. Importers will still need to pre-notify  Ashford Port Health twenty four working hours in advance of these imports. Imports need to be accompanied by a catch certificate, validated by the competent authority in the flag state of the catching vessel - the country where the vessel is registered, confirming it was legally fished and submit this IUU documentation in advance, in line with the IUU Regulations.


These imports are required to be pre-notified at least twenty four working hours before the estimated time of arrival at the Eurotunnel entrance to Great Britain.

Currently, our office hours are Monday – Friday   0900 - 1700 hrs

The importer will be required to register for a PHILIS account to enable completion of the online pre-notification form which may take several hours 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’ button 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 mandatory boxes and then save and submit the pre-notification. A box will appear stating ‘Submitted successfully’. Supporting documentation (catch certificates, sea waybill, invoice, packaging lists etc) must be attached to the pre-notification.

>> Log in or Register for PHILIS DES to complete your IUU pre-notification

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 is valid. The catch certificate template will be checked along with the stamps and signature of the Flag State, vessel details against the list of vessels known to have been engaged in illegal fishing activities, catch areas and Regulatory Fishery Management Organisation information where applicable. A confirmation email will be sent on completion of a satisfactory document check.

High and Low Risk Charges 

Imports coming directly from the following flag states are currently defined as low risk:

  • EU direct imports
  • 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.

The following imports are currently defined as high risk:

  • 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.)

Where multiple catch certificates are submitted for the same consignment, which include high and low risk country certificates, the higher risk charge is applied.

Document Upload

To aid our Technical Staff in efficiently checking your import documentation,  we require only those that we stipulate and in a consistent order. All documents should be in English language where practicable. This process allows us to rapidly provide you with the IUU Compliance certificate, providing no issues arise.  Please do not send any extraneous documents as this delays the process of us identifying the details required. It is imperative these documents are complete with all relevant sections and declarations completed to comply with Regulation (EU) 1005/2008, if not they must be rejected:

  1. Commercial Invoice
  2. Catch Certificate/s (or summary catch certificate document if APH agreed) with importer documentation (generally box 11) completed,
  3. Related processing/storage certificates ( Annex IV)
  4. CHED-P (as and when required)
  5. CMR – if available

IUU catch certificate format guidance

When adding catch certificate details, it is important to note that each country has a specific format. More information can be found here-

IUU certificate guidance- national standard formats

DEFRA have published a communication to the industry regarding IUU - Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing.

Read the IUU Letter From DEFRA 6 March 2023 [docx] 34kb.