This webpage will be updated periodically in compliance with the adoption of new legislation.

Webpage on aquaculture legislation

For a good webpage on aquaculture legislation in the EC, please have a look on ec.europa.eu/food/animal/liveanimals/aquaculture_en.htm

Basic Community legal provision

In the field of aquaculture and aquaculture products, the basic Community legal provision is Council Directive 2006/88/EC on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals, and on the prevention and control of certain diseases as amended by Commission Directive 2008/53/EC.

Directives 91/67, 93/53 and 90/70 are merged and updated by Council Directive 2006/88/EC. Member States shall apply Directive 2006/88/EC from 1 August 2008. Nevertheless, certain measures implementing those three repealed Directives are either still in force or transitional periods have been laid down in order to facilitate the transition between the two regimes.

Online Database on authorized Aquaculture Production Businesses

Commission Decision 2008/392/EC implementing Council Directive 2006/88/EC as regards an Internet-based information page to make information on aquaculture production businesses and authorised processing establishments available by electronic means. The Internet-based information page shall be completed with the information referred to in Article 2(2) and in Annexes I to IV by 31 July 2009 at the latest.

Certification for movement of aquaculture animals 

Commission Regulation 1251/2008 implementing Council Directive 2006/88/EC as regards conditions and certification requirements for the placing on the market and the import into the Community of aquaculture animals and products thereof and laying down a list of vector species shall apply from 1 January 2009.

Requirements for aquaculture animal health and for prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals

Council Directive 2006/88/EC lays down:

  • minimum control measures in the event of a suspicion or outbreak of certain diseases in aquatic animals;
  • minimum preventive measures aimed at increasing the awareness of the competent authorities, aquaculture production businesses operators and others related to this industry, concerning diseases of aquaculture animals;
  • the animal health requirements to be applied for the placing on the market and the imports of aquaculture animals and products thereof.

Guidelines for the purpose of the risk-based animal health surveillance schemes provided for in Council Directive 2006/88/EC are given in Commission Decision 2008/896/EC.

The provisions of Directive 2006/88/EC are applicable to fish, molluscs and crustaceans at all their life stages reared in a farm or mollusc farming area, including any aquatic animal from the wild intended for a farm or mollusc farming area.

In the field of aquaculture, the relevant legislation governs any placing on the market within each Member State, the intra-community trade (i.e. trade between Member States) and imports into the European Union. In general terms, this means that aquaculture animals and products from both within the EU and from third countries must broadly fulfil similar animal health requirements before they can be moved across national boarders.

Because the animal health situation is not the same throughout the territory of the Community, the movement regulations are based on the concept of approved (disease free) zones and farms (category I) for non-exotic diseases in Annex IV, Part II of Council Directive 2006/88/EC. The Directive lays down the criteria and procedures for the granting, maintenance, suspension, restoration and withdrawal of approval of such zones and farms as well as certification requirements for movement into disease free zones/farms. It also contains rules governing import from third countries.

The Sampling plans and the diagnostic methods for the detection and confirmation of listed diseases are laid down in the Commission Implementing decision 2015/1554.

Listed fish diseases

Exotic diseases
Epizootic haematopoietic necrosis (EHN) is considered exotic in the Community and fish infected with the disease are killed and destroyed as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the disease. Where fish are suspected of being infected or infected with an exotic disease, movement of fish, whether dead or alive, eggs and gametes are not allowed without the authorisation of the official service.

Non-exotic diseases
Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS), infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN), Koi herpes virus disease (KHVD) and infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) diseases are important endemic diseases that should be contained and eradicated in the long term.



23 JULY 2021