Fish and their gametes

Import requirements for aquaculture animals

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For other aquaculture animals than ornamental fish the requirements are found on commission regulation 1251/2008 and Implementing regulation 1012/2012. Species mentioned in annexes I and II are allowed to be imported to continental parts of Finland only if special proofs for SVC-, IPN- ja BKD- diseases and Gyrodactylys salaris -parasite are fulfilled. The culture plant where the fish or gametes are intended, must be registered to aquacultureplant register. If the import requirements are not fulfilled and the animals are intended for research, import permit from Finnish Food Safety Authority is required.

Aquaculture animals caught in wild

If aquaculture animals are intended for other than aquaculture plant, import permit from Finnish Food Safety Authority is required. The import must not pose risk for spread of animal diseases.

Conditions for imports of ornamental fish

Commission Implementing Regulation 1012/2012 contains model health certificates.

Commission Regulation 1251/2008 describes the conditions for imports (Chapter IV) and the conditions for transit (Chapter V) of aquaculture animals, and the new model health certificates are in the implementing regulation. This applies also for aquaculture animals and products thereof imported for human consumption. Aquarium crustaceans and molluscs come under the definition of aquaculture animals, and therefore the health certificates in the Implementing regulation must also be used for them .

1. Ornamental fish of species that are susceptible to one or more of the diseases listed in part II of Annex of the Implementing Directive 2012/31/EU and are intended for closed ornamental facilities may only be imported to the EU from third countries or territories, zones or compartments thereof listed in Annex II of Implementing Regulation 1012/2012.

2. Ornamental fish not of species susceptible to any of the diseases listed in part II of Annex of Implementing Directive 2012/31/EU, and ornamental molluscs and crustaceans intended for closed ornamental facilities, may only be imported  the EU from third countries or territories that belong to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

3. Consignments of ornamental fish provided for in paragraphs 1 and 2 above must be accompanied by an animal health certificate in accordance with the model in part B of Annex of Implementing Regulation 1012/2012 and completed in accordance with the explanatory notes in Annex V og Regulation 1251/2008 and they must meet the animal health requirements laid down in the model certificate and the explanatory notes.

Transitional periods

The old models of health certificates (as in Regulation 1251/2008) may be used when signed prior to 1.3.2013. 

These instructions apply to:

  1. fish caught in the wild that are imported as ornamental fish;
  2. ornamental fish imported by forwarders or wholesalers; and
  3. ornamental fish imported for placement in pet shops, garden centres, garden ponds, exhibition aquaria or other commercial facilities without any direct contact with natural waters.

Documents required at Vaalimaa border inspection post for commercial movements of ornamental fish from non-EU countries

The rules on the protection of ornamental fish during transport in connection with an economic activity are laid down in Council Regulation (EC) 1/2005 and in the Animal Transport Act (1429/2006). Persons transporting ornamental fish in connection with an economic activity must have a transporter authorisation, which is available in Russian at least in Estonia ( www.vet.agri.ee/ , e-mail vet vet.agri.ee , tel. +372 605 1710, fax +372 621 1441).  To find links to the Transport Regulation and the transporter authorisation, click on: Transporting horses and other animal protection provisions for horses from non-EU countries on the right.

  • IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE MODEL HEALTH CERTIFICATE, transporters must present the following documents to the border veterinarian at the veterinary border inspection post:
  1. A copy of the long journeys transporter authorisation (which may be held jointly by several persons), which allows the carriage of animals on journeys of over eight hours  (documents in accordance with Chapter II of Annex III of the Animal Transport Regulation, link in the margin)
  2. A certificate of approval of means of transport by road (document in accordance with Chapter IV of Annex III of the Animal Transport Regulation)
  3. A transport document containing the following information:
  • origin and owner of the animals
  • place of departure
  • date and time of departure
  • intended destination
  • anticipated duration of journey

Other requirements for imports of ornamental fish

1. Requirements in the Animal Disease Act

Under the Animal Disease Act aquarium operators are obliged to inform an official veterinarian if they suspect that fish have died of or have contracted an infectious disease.

2. Requirements of the Fishing Act

Pursuant to Section 94 of the Fishing Act (286/1982), imports of ornamental fish may not harm species and stocks of fish that occur naturally in Finland. In order to import alien fish species and stocks for introduction in the wild, you must not only be registered with Evira’s Unit for Animal Health and Welfare but also you ALWAYS need an import licence from the Department of Fisheries and Game of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and for the introduction of fish in natural waters you will also need authorisation from the local Employment and Economic Development Centre.

3 Conditions relating to genetically modified ornamental fish

All the conditions relating to genetically modified ornamental fish are set in the Gene Technology Act (377/1995).

The consent authority is the Board for Gene Technology. For further information go to: www.geenitekniikanlautakunta.fi.

4. Registration with the aquaculture register

An aquarium company that receives and sells imported ornamental fish as listed in section 1.1.2., must, pursuant to Decision 533/2011 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, register with the aquaculture register of the local Employment and Economic Development Centre ( http://www.ely-keskus.fi/) and observe the requirements laid down in the Decision. The Decision is posted on the internet: at National Legislation section A43. In accordance with section § 1 of the Decision, registration does not apply to establishments that keep or breed solely ornamental fish that are kept permanently in aquaria

5. Health permit

As of 1.2.2009, authorisation is required from the Finnish Food Authority to breed ornamental fish, crustaceans and molluscs where they or fertilised gametes of them are sold or otherwise transferred and they are kept in aquaria or aquarium facilities, artificial ponds or tanks, the water of which is channelled untreated into the sea or watercourses (including ditches and enclosed ponds).

6. Transport of fish

Cold water ornamental fish must be transported directly to facilities registered in accordance with the Decision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on the aquaculture register.

Imported ornamental fish may not be released into a fish farm facility or other tank from which they can escape into natural waters. When importing ornamental fish it is also essential to ensure that the transport water of the import consignment does not transmit fish diseases to natural waters.

7. Ornamental fish imported for research purposes 

Ornamental fish may only be imported for research purposes if a permit has been granted by the Finnish Food Safety Authority. The precondition for the granting of an import permit is that importation does not risk spreading animal diseases. The permit sets out the absolute import conditions in respect of animal health.

Multi-species consignments according to 1012/2012

  • Species for which there are no disease-specific requirements (Part II.2-5 and II.7 of the certificate set out in Part A of Annex or Part II.2-3 of the certificate set out in Part B of Annex is not applicable) may be together in one consignment as long as the general attestations of the certificate are fulfilled for all species of the consignment (Part I, II.1 and II.6 of the certificate set out in Part A of Annex or Part I, II.1 and II.4 of the certificate set out in Part B of Annex). This means for instance that species which neither are susceptible to nor may act as vectors for any of the listed diseases can be sent together in the same consignment.
  • Species for which there are disease-specific requirements as regards one disease may not be in the same consignment as species for which there are disease-specific requirements as regards another disease. This means for instance that a consignment intended for an area declared free from ISA and KHV may not contain both Atlantic salmon (susceptible to ISA) and common carp (susceptible to KHV)
  • Species for which there are disease-specific requirements may be in the same consignment as aquaculture animals, for which there are no disease-specific requirements, as long as the general attestations of the certificate are fulfilled for all animals of the consignment (Part I, II.1 and II.6 of the certificate set out in Part A of Annex or Part I, II.1 and II.4 of the certificate set out in Part B of Annex). This means for instance that koi carps going to an area which is declared free for KHV can be in the same consignment as ornamental fish, molluscs and crustaceans, which are not susceptible to any of the listed diseases. In this case the KVH related attestations have to be included in the certificate.

CITES

When importing endangered species, the CITES agreement must be taken into account according to which some species are required to be followed by CITES permit. you can ask about CITES requirements e-mailing to cites ymparisto.fi.

(18047EN)

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