More than 3500 projects implemented around the world
More than 3,500 projects implemented around the world

GOPA project database

Since its founding in 1965, GOPA has successfully implemented over 3,500 projects in more than 130 countries. At present, over 140 are being carried out. This database provides a selection of projects best illustrating GOPA’s fields of activity.

Study on compliance of imports of fishery and aquaculture products with EU legislation

Rural Development and Environment
European Parliament
Donor Organisation: 
European Commission (EC)
Associated Enterprises: 
Project Volume: 
Value of Services: 
Start of project: 
January, 2013
End of project: 
November, 2013

The EU is the world's largest market for fisheries and aquaculture products (FAP). This market is heavily dependent on FAP imports from non-EU countries, which are essential to meet the increasing demand: more than 60% of FAP consumed in the EU (and ca. 90% for white fish) is currently imported. FAP imports are expected to meet the same requirements that apply to EU production, which should be reached by way of appropriate monitoring and controls.

Among other measures, trade in fishery products between the EU and third countries is regulated by a series of sanitary norms aiming to ensure that the fishery products consigned to the EU market are produced under conditions of sanitary control which are considered to be equivalent to those applicable to EU operators. The sanitary conditions are presently set out in EU legislation and regular inspections and reports by the Food and Veterinary Office of DG SANCO of the EC verify the food safety conditions and compliance.

In relation to the legality of fishery products imported to the EU it has been estimated that the EU in previous years imported around EUR 1.1 billion of illegal fishy every year representing around 10% of the imports of fish. Council Regulation /EC) No 1005/2008 introduced a regime to prohibit the importation of fishery products from IUU fishing. The IUU Regulation defined a catch certification scheme, as well as verification checks on importation of consignments.

Project details


The study intended to estimate the level of compliance of FAP imported into the EU with the current safety and quality EU legislation, as well as with the regulation on IUU fishing. More specifically the study was expected to:

  • Analyse the process of monitoring and control of FAP imports in relation to EU quality and sanitary provisions, and to the IUU Regulation, in order to provide an assessment of its effectiveness.
  • Investigate to what extent the FAP reaching the EU market comply with the sanitary and IUU Regulation.

Based on this analysis the study identified critical issues and will propose recommendations for political actions aimed at dealing with them.

  1. Preparation of a methodology for the study and of various questionnaires for DG SANCO, DG MARE, FVO and for the Border Inspections Port (BIP);
  2. Visit of BIP in France, UK, Spain and Germany;
  3. Meetings with the DG MARE, DG SANCO, FVO and MS Competent Authorities;
  4. Preparation and drafting of a study including chapters on:
  • Import in to the EU and evolution of the market;
  • Safety and quality legislation (presentation of the legal framework; monitoring and control of FAP imported in to the EU; system of certification in third countries’; cases studies on Ecuador, India, Morocco, Thailand and Vietnam; analysis of RASFF);
  • IUU legislation (presentation of legislative framework; discussion on traceability conditions; transhipments and indirect landings; evaluation of the system).