All EU Member States and countries in the EU single market (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) requires electronic certification (eCert) for fish products sourced and exported from Australian establishments (including fishing vessels) that are registered by the Department and are listed with the EU.
Information included in the RFP will be transmitted to TRACES-NT via eCert and made available to border control posts in their official language. The EU border control post will have access to the full eCert in TRACES-NT, removing the need to present a paper certificate at entry.
An extract of the data sent via eCert can be remote printed exporter in lieu of the paper health certificate. The extract carries only commercial information required to identify the product.
Electronic export clearance information (including endorsements) is sent from EXDOC to EU Trade Control and Export Systems (TRACES-NT) at the same time the request for permit is approved (at "COMP").
This system replaces the printed health certificates required prior to May 2022 to export fishery products to the EU.
Paper certificates in EXDOC for the export of fish and fish products to Northern Ireland
The TRACES system does not apply for exports to Northern Ireland. Please contact the Department at
ExportStandards@agriculture.gov.au if you intend to export to Northern Ireland direct from Australia.
For an eCert to be lodged successfully, valid exporter (consignor), consignee (importer), and Place of Destination TRACES IDs must be supplied. You should work closely with your importer to ensure you have the correct TRACES-NT IDs for the Consignee and the Place of Destination.
Exporters can apply for an
EU TRACES-NT user ID to search operator records and confirm the approval number (identifier).
For additional information refer to:
2022-08: European Union: Fish: Paperless trade eCert commences from 31 May 2022 - DAFF (agriculture.gov.au)
Assessing requests for permit
All Requests for Permit (RFPs) must be authorised by a Departmental officer.
Live and non-viable fish and fish products templates
|Commodity||eCert template name||Previous template name|
|For the export of non-viable finfish, crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs that are packaged for retail sale e.g., Frozen yellowtail kingfish, frozen octopus, fish oil||EUFXA1||FXEUA|
|For the export of live crustaceans packaged for retail sale||EUFXA2||FXEUC|
|For the export of live marine gastropod molluscs ||EUFXB1||BMEUA|
|For the export of non-viable bivalve molluscs ready for direct human consumption ||EUFXB2||BMEUB|
|For the export of non-viable marine gastropods, echinoderms and tunicates ready for direct human consumption ||EUFXB3||BMEUB|
|For the export of live bivalve molluscs ||EUFXB4||BMEUC|
|For the export of live bivalve molluscs packaged and labelled for human consumption and packaged for retail sale||EUFXB5||BMEUD|
Additional documentation requirements – IUU Catch Certificates
EU traceability requirements Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing
Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 details the system established by the EU to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
All fish and fish products entering the EU market, including products caught by EU-flagged vessels operating outside of the EU Economic Exclusion Zone are covered by the requirements of the IUU Regulation.
For some species exported to the EU, a government validated Catch Certificate is required to ensure fish and fish products exported originate from non-IUU (legal) fisheries. The catch certificate is required by the EC Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and attests that the fish being exported was caught in compliance with the IUU regulations.
It generally includes all marine fishery products including live, fresh, chilled, frozen, prepared and preserved product forms. Fishery products which fall under Chapter 03 and Tariff Headings 1604 and 1605 of the Harmonised System Tariff Code must be accompanied by a catch certificate, with some exceptions.
All freshwater fisheries and aquaculture products are exempt from this regulation, as well as some forms of molluscs such as scallops, mussels, oysters and snails.
Annex I of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 has the list of fishery products excluded from the scope of implementation of the catch certificate.
The exporter in Australia is required to provide a copy of the completed Catch Certificate to the EU importer prior to the product arriving in the EU. It is up to the EU importer to submit the certificate to the competent EU Member State authority. The communication of the catch certificate between the exporter and EU importer can also be done by electronic means.
Completing Catch Certificates
All catch that may be exported to the EU needs to be noted in the catch certificate i.e. even if only a portion of a catch is exported to the EU, the catch certificate must reference the whole catch from which that portion was taken for export.
All applicable product, destined for the EU, harvested by EU-approved Australian-flagged vessels, regardless of size (even small vessels), need a catch certificate for export to the EU.
- As prescribed in Annex II of EC Regulation 1005/2008 (Appendix 3 of MAA FISH 09/10), there is a requirement for one catch certificate for each vessel that contributes fish or fishery product to a consignment. Multiple species can be used on this catch certificate if they were taken by the same vessel during a single fishing trip.
As prescribed in Annex IV of EC Regulation 1010/2009, a separate, 'simplified certificate' (Appendix 2 of MAA: FISH 09/10) has been developed by the EC for catch harvested from vessels which:
- have an overall length of less than 12 metres without towed gear or
- have an overall length of less than 8 metres with towed gear or
- is without a superstructure or
- is of less than measured 20 GT.
Where a consignment is comprised of catches from vessels that meet the above criteria, the exporter can use the EC's 'simplified catch certificate' which allows for multiple catches to be referenced on the one document. It is the exporter's responsibility to ensure that all of vessel information required on the 'simplified catch certificate' can be provided.
Catch Certificates must be signed by the applicable fisheries management authority
Catch certificates, once completed are required to be verified by the State/Territory/Commonwealth authority where the fish were harvested to get their signature and stamp. Refer to contact details at the end of this section.
State/Territory Fisheries Authorities