Skip to main content
Food Safety

Aquatic animals

Movements within the Union and entry into the EU

Introduction

Regulation (EU) 2016/429 (the “Animal Health Law”) sets out rules concerning transmissible diseases of terrestrial animals and aquatic animals.

Article 4(3) of that Regulation defines aquatic animals as follows:

“‘aquatic animals’ means animals of the following species, at all life stages, including eggs, sperm and gametes:

  1. fish belonging to the superclass Agnatha and to the classes Chondrichthyes, Sarcopterygii and Actinopterygii;
  2. aquatic molluscs belonging to the phylum Mollusca;
  3. aquatic crustaceans belonging to the subphylum Crustacea.”

Regulation (EU) 2016/429 has applied in all Member States since 21 April 2021 and is supplemented by several delegated and implementing Regulations, some of which deal with terrestrial animals, others of which deal with aquatic animals, and others again which deal with both. Details of all of these Regulations may be found at: Animal Health Law (europa.eu)

Regulation (EU) 2016/429, repeals Directive (EU) 2006/88/EC from 21 April 2021.

Listed diseases, categorisation & listed species

The following diseases of aquatic animals have been listed in accordance with Article 5 of Regulation (EU) 2016/429:

Diseases of fish:

Epizootic haematopoietic necrosis, Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia, Infectious haematopoietic necrosis, Infection with HPR-deleted infectious salmon anaemia virus, Koi herpes virus disease.

Diseases of molluscs:

Infection with Mikrocytos mackini, Infection with Perkinsus marinus, Infection with Bonamia exitiosa, Infection with Bonamia ostreae, Infection with Marteilia refringens.

Diseases of crustaceans:

Infection with Taura syndrome virus, Infection with yellow head virus, Infection with white spot syndrome virus.

Categorisation & listed species

The listing of aquatic species or groups of species which are susceptible to or vectors of the listed diseases, has been completed in accordance with Article 8 of Regulation (EU) 2016/429, and the categorisation of the aquatic diseases into Category ‘A’, Category ‘C’ and Category ‘E’ diseases has been completed in accordance with Article 9 of the same Regulation. The categorization of each of the listed diseases, and the species which are listed concerning those diseases, are set out in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1882.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1882 has been amended by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/925, concerning the list of species and groups of species posing a considerable risk for the spread of listed diseases. Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/925 lists only the scientific names of the species which are relevant for each listed disease. However, in order to assist Member States and their trading partners, a list of the scientific names of the species which are relevant for each listed disease, plus the corresponding common names of each species in the English language, is available here.

Aquaculture establishments

An “establishment”, which includes an aquaculture establishment, is defined as follows in Article 4(27) of Regulation (EU) 2016/429:

“ any premises, structure, or, in the case of open air farming, any environment or place, where animals or germinal products are kept, on a temporary or permanent basis, except for:

  1. households where pet animals are kept;
  2. veterinary practices or clinics”

All aquaculture establishments must be either:

  • registered by the competent authority in accordance with Article 173 of Regulation (EU) 2016/429;
  • approved by the competent authority in accordance with Article 181(1) of the same Regulation; or
  • exempted from the requirement to be registered by the competent authority in accordance with Article 174 of that Regulation and in accordance with the rules set out in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/2037

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/691 supplements the rules set out in Chapter I of Title II of Part IV of Regulation (EU) 2016/429 as regards aquaculture establishments, and in particular as regards the rules which apply to certain aquaculture establishments concerning risk-based surveillance, biosecurity measures and facilities and equipment. Further details concerning the application of risk-based surveillance in certain approved aquaculture establishments, are set out in Part I of Annex VI to Regulation (EU) 2020/689.

The public registers of aquaculture establishments, which have been approved by competent authorities in accordance with Article 181(1) of Regulation (EU) 2016/429, are available via the following links:

Member States:

flag_aut.png
Austria
flag_hrv.png
Croatia
flag_cyp.png
Cyprus
flag_cze.png
Czech Republic
flag_dan.png
Denmark
flag_est.png
Estonia
flag_fin.png
Finland
flag_grc.png
Greece
flag_hun.png
Hungary
flag_irl.png
Ireland
flag_ltu.png
Lithuania
flag_nld.png
The Netherlands
flag_pol.png
Poland
flag_svn.png
Slovenia
flag_esp.png
Spain

EFTA states:

flag_isl.png
Iceland
flag_che.png
Switzerland

Other countries

flag_gbr.png
United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

Movements of aquatic animals within the EU

The rules concerning movements of aquatic animals within the Union are set out in Chapter 2 of Title II of Part IV of Regulation (EU) 2016/429. These rules are supplemented by animal health, notification and certification requirements for movements within the Union, which are set out in Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/990. Furthermore, Annex I to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2236, sets out the model animal health certificates which must be used for certain movements of listed species of aquatic animals within the Union.

Entry into the Union of aquatic animals

The rules concerning animal health requirements for the entry into the Union of aquatic animals from non-EU countries and territories and zones or compartments thereof, are set out in Part V of Regulation (EU) 2016/429. These rules are supplemented by the general rules which are set out in Part I, and the specific rules concerning aquatic animals of listed species which are set out in Part V, of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/692.

Annex II to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2236, sets out the model animal health certificate which must be used for the entry into the Union of listed species of aquatic animals intended for certain purposes other than human consumption. The countries and territories and zones or compartments thereof, from which these listed species of aquatic animals must originate are set out in Annex XXI to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/404.

Chapters 28 and 31 of Annex III to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2235 set out the official certificates, which apply when certain aquatic animals enter the Union intended for human consumption. The animal health attestations set out in Part II.2. of those model certificates apply to live aquatic animals of listed species. In certain specific circumstances, as set out in the Notes to the model certificates in Chapters 28 and 31 of Annex III, these live animals may originate from a non-EU country or territory, zone or compartment thereof, which is listed in Annex VIII or Annex IX to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/405, as relevant; but in all other circumstances, live aquatic animals of listed species which are intended for human consumption, should originate from a non-EU country or territory, zone or compartment thereof, which is listed in Annex XXI to Regulation (EU) 2021/404.

The entry into the Union of aquatic animals of non-listed species takes place in accordance with the national rules which have been developed by the Member State of destination, based on the legal provisions set out in Articles 234, 237 and 238(4) of Regulation (EU) 2016/429.

Disease control measures

The rules concerning disease awareness, preparedness and control are set out in Part III of Regulation (EU) 2016/429. These rules are supplemented by the rules for the prevention and control of certain listed diseases, which are set out in Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/687.

Specifically, the rules concerning aquatic diseases are set out in Part III to that Regulation. That Part sets out detailed disease control measures for Category A diseases of aquatic animals, and Articles 110 and 111 provide cross references to Articles 55 to 65 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/689 which set out details of the disease control measures which must be applied when a Category C disease of aquatic animals is suspected or confirmed in a disease-free Member State, zone or compartment or in one which is subject to an eradication programme.

Disease free status & eradication programmes for Category C diseases

Disease free status for a Category C disease of aquatic animals may be granted to a Member State, zone or compartment, which complies with the rules, which are set out in Chapter 4 of Part II of Regulation (EU) 2016/429. Those rules are supplemented by further rules, which are set out in Chapter 4 of Part II of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/689.

One of the pathways by which disease free status for a particular Category C disease may be obtained is following the completion of an eradication programme in accordance with the rules, which are set out in Chapter 3 of Part II of Regulation (EU) 2016/429. Those rules are supplemented by further rules, which are set out in Chapter 3 of Part II of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/689.

Annexes XII to XVII to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/620, set out details of the Member States whose whole territory have disease free status or an approved eradication programme for a Category C disease, as well as zones or compartments of a Member State where >75% of the territory of the Member State have disease free status or are subject to an eradication programme, and zones or compartments of a Member State which have disease free status or are subject to an eradication programme, where the water catchment supplying those zones or compartments is shared with another Member State or non-EU country.

Declarations of disease-free status or of the commencement of an eradication programme for zones and compartments other than those referred to in the above paragraph, may be declared in accordance with the procedure set out in Article 83 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/689.

Declarations in accordance with Article 83 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/689

Declarations made in accordance with Article 83 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/689, should contain data pursuant to:

The data to be included in such declarations is as follows:

View declarations

For further information contact SANTE AQUA DECLARATIONS

National measures

In accordance with Article 226 (3) of Regulation (EU) 2016/429, certain Member States and parts thereof have approved national measures to prevent the introduction, or to control the spread, of diseases other than those which have been listed in accordance with Article 9(1)(d) of Regulation (EU) 2016/429. Those Member States and the diseases for which they have national measures, are set out in Annexes I and II to Regulation (EU) 2021/260.

The EU Reference Laboratories for aquatic diseases are: