Fish (Quality Assurance) Rules, 2008


Date of promulgation: 

4 March 2008


SUPPLEMENT No. 8                                                                                  14th March, 2008


to The Uganda Gazette No. 15 Volume CI dated 14th March, 2008 Printed by UPPC, Entebbe, by Order of the Government.


Text Box: Regulation.THE FISH (QUALITY ASSURANCE) RULES, 2008.


Short title






Part II—Quality Assurance


Fish inspectors


Powers of fish inspector


Obstruction of fish inspector


Fish sanitary certificate


Refusal to issue fish sanitary certificate


Conditions for placing on the market


Product traceability


Requirements for exportation and importation


Inspection of fish for export


Approval of establishments


Approval of authorised landing sites


Approval of independent suppliers


Licensing of vessels used in fisheries


Submission of quality management programme


Hazard analysis critical control points


Action in case of health risk





Part III—General


Collaboration with other departments


Monthly returns


Falsification of documents


Offences and penalties


Powers of court


Commissioner to ensure compliance


Immunity of Commissioner and Fish Inspectors


Revocation of S.I No. 10 of 1998



SCHEDULES First Schedule—Fish sanitary certificate Second Schedule—General conditions for establishments Third Schedule—Conditions for storage and transport Fourth Schedule—Conditions for packaging

Fifth Schedule—General requirements for distribution and monitoring of Water

Sixth Schedule—General requirements for conditions and control of upstream activities

Seventh Schedule—General requirements and conditions for approval of establishments

Eighth Schedule—General requirements for fishery products


2008 No. 12. The Fish (Quality Assurance) Rules, 2008.

(Under section 35 of the Fish Act, Cap 197).

In exercise of the powers conferred upon the Minister responsible for

fisheries by section 35 of the Fish Act, these Rules are made this 1st day

of February, 2008.

Part I—Preliminary.

  1. Short title.

These Rules may be cited as the Fish (Quality Assurance) Rules, 2008.

  1. Interpretation.

In these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires—

“Act” means the Fish Act, Cap 197;

“aquaculture” means the practice of breeding and raising fish in controlled conditions until placed on the market as a foodstuff, and includes the raising of sea water or fresh water fish or crustaceans caught in their natural environment when immature and kept until they reach the desired commercial size for human consumption;

“authorised officer” has the same meaning as in the Act;

“batch” means a quantity of fish or fish products obtained under practically identical circumstances, during a period of time indicated by a specific code;

“Beach Management Unit” (BMU) is as defined in the Fish (Beach Management) Rules, 2003;

“chilling” means the process of cooling fish or a fish product to a temperature approaching that of melting ice (0°C);

“code of practice” means a code of practice declared as such under the Uganda National Bureau of Standards Act;

“Commissioner” means the Commissioner for Fisheries in the Ministry responsible for fisheries;

“competent authority” is the government service mandated responsibility for official control to guarantee quality and safety of fish and fisheries products;

“consignment” means a quantity of fish or fish products bound for one or more customers in the country of destination and conveyed by one means of transport only;

“establishment” means any premises where fish or fish products are prepared, handled, processed, chilled, frozen, packaged or stored, but does not include auction and Wholesale markets in which only display and sale by wholesale takes place;

“fish” means a vertebrate fish alive or dead and any part of it and includes the young and eggs;

“fisheries inspector” means a fisheries inspector appointed by Public Service

“fish inspector” means a fish inspector designated under rule 4;

“Fish product” means any product where fish is the primary component, not including the use of fish products as minor ingredients in other processed foods or feeds;

“fresh product” means a fish product whether whole or prepared , which has not undergone any treatment to ensure preservation, other than chilling, and includes fish products packaged under vacuum or in a modified atmosphere;

“frozen product” means a fish product which has under-gone a freezing process to reach a core temperature of -18°C or less after temperature stabilization;

“landing site” is officially designated place of landing, may be gazetted with a fish inspector or under the management of a community Beach Management Unit (BMU);

“management” includes a person in charge of an establishment;

“means of transport” means those parts set aside for goods in automobile vehicles, rail vehicles, aircraft and holds of vessels and containers for transport by land, sea or air;

“National Standard” means a Standard produced or adopted by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards for use in Uganda;

“packaging” means protecting a fish product by use of a container, wrapper or any other suitable material;

“placing on the market” means the holding or displaying for sale, offering for sale, selling, delivering or any other mode of placing on the market in or outside Uganda;

“prepared product” means a fish product which has undergone an operation affecting its anatomical wholesomeness, such as gutting, heading, slicing, filleting or chopping;

“processing” means subjecting fish or a fish product to a chemical or physical process such as steaking, filleting, skinning heating, smoking, salting, dehydrating; or marinating of a chilled or frozen product, whether or not associated with other foodstuffs, or a combination of these processes; and

“vessel” means any vessel which may be harvesting or transporting fish to the landing site.

  1. Responsibilities.

All persons and establishments handling or processing fish and fish products are responsible for ensuring the safety and quality of the product at all times.

Part II—Quality Assurance.

  1. Fish Inspectors.

The Commissioner shall designate authorised officers under the Fish Act as fish inspectors for the purposes of these Rules.

  1. Powers of fish inspector.
  1. A fish inspector shall have all the powers conferred upon an authorised officer under the Act and in addition the fisher inspector shall have the power to—
  1. take samples of any fish or fish product found in any establishment, vessel, vehicle, premises or site searched under this rule;
  2. seize any fish or fish product that is unfit for human consumption, diseased or otherwise contaminated; or
  3. destroy or otherwise render harmless any fish or fish product which he or she has reasonable grounds to believe is unfit for human consumption, diseased or otherwise contaminated;
  4. take appropriate samples of non-fishery items for instance water, microbial swabs, ingredients etc to verify compliance with this rule.
  1. advise the Commissioner on—
  1. the approval of establishments under rule 13;
  2. the approval of official fish landing sites under rule 14.
  1. enter, inspect and search, at a reasonable time, any establishment, vessel, vehicle, premises or site where aquaculture is practised, in order to ensure compliance with these rules; or in which the inspector has reasonable ground to believe that evidence of an offence under these rules may be found and:
  2. issue fish sanitary certificates under rule 7;
  3. carry out regular inspection and monitor the activities, documents and records of establishments, in order to prepare a report for the Commissioner and respective establishments in which non­compliance with these regulations are identified; and
  4. conduct any other matter necessary for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions under these rules.
  1. Obstruction of fish inspector.
  1. A person shall not obstruct, impede or refuse to admit a fish inspector or other authorised person acting in the exercise of his or her functions under these rules, or aid any person in obstructing, impeding or refusing to admit a fish inspector.
  2. A fish inspector, in exercising any of the powers conferred on him or her by these rules, shall, on demand, produce such means of identification as may be necessary to show that he or she is a fish inspector for the purposes of these rules.
  1. Fish sanitary certificate.
  1. A person shall not place on the market or export out of Uganda a batch or consignment of fish or fish products without a fish sanitary certificate issued by a fish inspector in respect of the batch or consignment.
  2. For the purposes of these rules, a fish sanitary certificate is—
  1. the local health certificate as set out in the first schedule or;
  2. the sanitary health certificate issued for the export of product from Uganda as set out in the first schedule.
  1. The fees to be charged for a fish sanitary certificate in respect of each batch or consignment of fish shall be twenty thousand shillings.
  2. A person shall not import a batch or consignment of fish or fish products into Uganda without a completed official sanitary health certificate issued by the competent authority of the exporting country, in respect of the batch or consignment.
  1. Refusal to issue fish sanitary certificate
  1. A fish inspector may refuse to issue a fish sanitary certificate in respect of any consignment or batch of fish or fish products from an establishment if—
  1. the consignment or batch in respect of which the certificate is sought is contaminated with micro-organisms that are potentially injurious to human health or with undesirable chemicals;
  2. the establishment has not complied with the sanitary requirements set out in these Rules;
  3. the establishment has not complied with its Quality Management Programme;
  4. contamination exceeds the relevant national or international standard;
  5. packaging and labelling do not comply with these rules; or
  6. The establishment has not complied with any other condition prescribed by the Commissioner.
  1. Where a fish inspector refuses to issue a fish sanitary certificate under this rule, he or she shall communicate the reasons for refusing to issue the certificate to the establishment or applicant.
  2. A fish inspector may, for the purpose of establishing the safety and quality of the fish or fish product, take samples for analysis in an officially approved laboratory at the cost of the establishment or applicant.
  1. Conditions for placing on the market.
  1. Placing on the market of fish caught in its natural environment shall be subject to the following conditions—
  1. the fish must have—
  1. been caught and landed in less than eight hours, or
  2. kept alive;
  3. stored in ice or at temperatures of melting ice (0°C) in appropriate containers;
  4. transferred to another vessel with ice storage capability in less than eight hours,

whilst being kept cool and protected from the sun and contamination, and brought to the landing site in accordance, the Uganda Code of Practice for Production and Marketing of Chilled (Fresh) and frozen fish and fish products;

  1. been transported at temperatures of melting ice (0°C)from the landing site to establishments or markets in accordance with the Uganda Code of Practice for Production and Marketing of Chilled (Fresh) and Frozen Fish and Fish Products;
  2. been handled, and where appropriate, packaged, prepared, processed, frozen, defrosted and stored, hygienically in an approved establishment;
  3. undergone health and sanitary checks in accordance with the relevant National Standard; and
  4. been appropriately packaged, stored, and transported under sanitary conditions meeting the requirements of the third and fourth schedules.
  1. Fish to be placed on the market alive shall at all times be kept under conditions that ensure fish welfare and survival satisfactory to a fish inspector.
  1. Product traceability.
  1. All steps in the supply chain shall identify the suppliers of fishery products or raw materials and their customers for any specific batch or consignment.
  2. Processing establishments shall identify the supplier and batch numbers of all ingredients, packaging materials and food contact cleaning chemicals used in the establishment.
  3. Product landed at designated landing sites shall if compliant with the necessary legal requirements under the Act, be issued with a fish movement permit authorised under the BMU Rules as proof of origin for traceability.
  4. All products landed at gazzetted fish landing sites shall be assessed and if compliant with the necessary standards, shall be issued with a local health certificate by the authorised fish inspector.
  5. Export processing establishments shall only accept fish that are accompanied by signed local health certificate.
  6. Traceability records shall be available to the competent authority upon demand for a period of two years from date of issue.
  1. Requirements for exportation and importation.
  1. A person shall not export, process for export or attempt to export any fish or fish product unless that fish or fish product is processed in an establishment in accordance with these rules.
  2. A person shall not import, export or attempt to import, export process, store for sale—
  1. any poisonous fish including species of the families tetradonidae, molidae, diodontidae, canthigasteridae and gempildae;
  2. fish or fishery products containing
  1. biotoxins, toxins, antibiotics and contaminants;
  2. foods additives not permitted or in amounts exceeding permissible levels;
  3. the quality is such that it is unfit for human consumption
  4. fish or fishery products contaminated with radioactive material;
  5. or otherwise fails to meet the requirements of these rules.
  1. permissible standards for these contaminants are set out in the in the eighth schedule.
  1. A person shall not load a vessel, vehicle, aircraft or railway wagon for export or unload fish or fishery products from such conveyance, unless the consignment has been duly inspected by a fisheries inspector, or other official authorised by the Commissioner.
  2. A person shall not export out of Uganda, fish or fish products that do not comply with the labelling requirements of Uganda National Standard, (Standard Specification for Labelling of Pre-packaged Foods), including the Establishment Approval Number and the traceability code.
  3. The management of a fish processing establishment shall not import into Uganda any fish or fish product without prior authority of the Commissioner.
  4. Fish and fishery products being imported into Uganda shall be assessed by the competent authority or those authorities as delegated by the Commissioner, at the point of entry into Uganda.
  5. Where the management of an establishment imports any fish or fish product under sub-rule (5), the transportation, processing, packaging or other manner of handling of that fish or fish product shall be in accordance with these rules and with any conditions as may be prescribed by the Commissioner.
  1. Inspection of fish for export.
  1. The management of an establishment shall, before dispatch of a batch or consignment of fish or fish products for export, declare its intention to export fish or fish products to a fish inspector at least twenty four hours in advance, in case of chilled or fresh products, and at least seven days in advance, in case of frozen products.
  2. A batch or consignment of fish or fish products to be exported shall be made available for inspection at the establishment or point of exit.

  1. Approval of establishments.
  1. The management of an establishment shall, before constructing, reconstructing or adapting an establishment, submit to the Commissioner, for his or her approval, a plan of the establishment and a list of the activities to be carried out by the establishment according to the seventh Schedule.
  2. The Commissioner may approve a plan submitted under sub­rule (1) which meets the requirements concerning lay out, product flow and other matters as prescribed in the seventh Schedule.
  3. The Commissioner shall provisionally approve the activities of an establishment submitted under sub-rule (1) which meet the requirements prescribed in the second, third, fourth and fifth Schedules.
  4. The provisional approval shall last for a period of three months after which time, provided that, the establishment complies with requirements of these rules, as verified by Competent Authority audits, full approval for export shall be granted, the establishment certified and an Establishment Approval Number (EAN) issued.
  5. The annual renewal of the EAN shall be dependent on the continued compliance to the requirements set out in these rules.
  6. Where an establishment carries out activities other than those for which it has been approved, the Commissioner may review the approval given under sub-rule (2) and (3) and shall take such action as he or she may deem necessary.
  1. Approval of authorised landing sites.

The Commissioner may approve official fish landing sites which meet conditions as prescribed in sixth schedule and the guide-lines for Beach Management Units 2003 issued by the Commissioner.

  1. Approval of independent ice suppliers.

The Commissioner may approve independent suppliers of ice to the fishing industry which meet such conditions as may be prescribed in the second Schedule and fifth Schedule and chapter 2 of the manual of standard operating procedures for fish inspection and quality assurance.

  1. Licensing of vessels used in fisheries.
  1. Licensing of vessels used for fishing, collection and transport of fish, shall be carried out annually by the authorised officer under the Act.
  2. Approval for the licence shall be dependant on the vessel meeting the required hygienic criteria, as set out in the third and sixth schedules and the appropriate checklists in the manual of Standard Operating Procedure.
  3. Verification of continued compliance which these criteria shall be conducted by fish inspectors on monthly basis or whenever deemed necessary.
  4. The competent authority shall receive monthly summary reports from the fish inspectors, and shall verify that standards are maintained on a quarterly basis.
  5. Where standards are not maintained the vessel licence may be revoked until such time that it can be demonstrated that the vessel is compliant.
  1. Submission of Quality Management Programme.
  1. The management of an establishment shall draw up and submit to the Commissioner, a Quality Management Programme based on Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).
  2. The Commissioner shall provide guidance to stakeholders in the preparation of their Quality Management Programme.
  1. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points.
  1. The management of an establishment shall implement a quality assurance system based on the following Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) Principles—
  1. identification of relevant hazards and their means of control using a risk analysis approach, and
  2. identification of critical control points in the establishment on the basis of the manufacturing processes and the intended use of the products;
  3. establishing and implementing monitoring procedures for CCPs and establishing the critical limits by which the safety of the process can be determined as safe or potentially unsafe;
  4. establishing appropriate corrective action procedures for when critical limits are exceeded;
  5. establishing procedures to be regularly undertaken in order to verify that measures outlined in subparagraphs (a) to (d) are effectively conducted;
  6. keeping written documented procedures and records, in an indelible manner, of the matters required by this rule with a view to submitting them to the Commissioner as proof that the system is operating within the set standard limits and the results of the different checks, tests and analysis, in particular, shall be kept for a period of at least two years.
  1. The management of an establishment shall submit to the Commissioner, a copy of the Quality Manual including the HACCP plan as prepared under sub-rule (1) for assessment, on site verification and approval.
  2. The management of an establishment shall take samples for analysis in an officially approved laboratory for the purpose of checking cleaning and disinfection methods and for the purpose of checking compliance with relevant national standards;
  1. Action in case of health risk.
  1. Where the CCP monitoring as part of a HACCP plan or other risk monitoring identifies a potential risk to consumer safety, the establishment shall—
  1. implement their product recall procedure;
  2. inform the competent authority of the situation.
  3. be responsible for taking the necessary actions to protect the consumer.
  1. Where there is uncertainty of product safety, the establishment shall undertake the appropriate analysis as directed by the competent authority to demonstrate product safety, before product is placed on the market.
  2. Where product is either shown to be unsafe, or its safety can not be demonstrated then the establishment shall dispose it off under the supervision of the competent authority, such that it—
  1. does not re-enter the food supply chain;
  2. is disposed of in an approved manner and does not contaminate or pollute the environment.
  1. If the establishment fails, ignores and or neglects to withdraw or dispose of such unsafe fish and fishery products, the competent authority shall take appropriate action against the establishment to ensure compliance.

Part III—General

  1. Collaboration with other departments.

In implementing these rules, the Commissioner shall, to the greatest extent possible, consult and co-operate with departments, branches and agencies of the Government having aims or objectives related to these rules.

  1. Monthly returns.
  1. The management of an establishment shall submit monthly returns of its transactions to the Commissioner.
  2. The monthly returns under this rule shall be submitted within the first week of the following month.
  1. Falsification of documents.

No person shall falsify or unlawfully alter, destroy, erase or obliterate any declaration, certificate or other document made or issued under these rules, or any label or mark placed on any container in accordance with these rules.

  1. Offences and penalties.
  1. A person who, for the time being, is in charge or control or is a manager of persons engaged in handling of fish, but who does not himself or herself carry on a fish business, and who fails to take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with these rules by any person under his or her charge, control or management, commits an offence.
  2. A person who contravenes these rules is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding three thousand shillings or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months or to both.
  1. Powers of court.
  1. The court may, in addition to, or in substitution for any penalty that it may impose under these rules, withdraw any approval granted under these Rules.
  2. The court may, on the application of the prosecution, order the closure of any establishment which has violated any of these rules.
  1. Commissioner to ensure compliance.
  1. The Commissioner shall ensure that the management of an establishment takes all the necessary measures to comply with these rules.
  2. In situations where an establishment is not compliant with the rules the Commissioner may authorize actions to suspend (temporarily) or withdraw some or all of the Competent Authority’s services to the establishment, until such time the establishment demonstrates its compliance.
  1. Immunity of Commissioner and fish inspectors.

No liability, civil or criminal shall be attached to the Commissioner, fish inspectors or authorised person in respect of loss arising from the exercise in good faith by the Commissioner, fish inspector or an authorised person in the performance of his or her functions under these rules.

  1. Revocation of S.I. No. 10 of 1998.

The Fish Quality Assurance Rules, 1998 are revoked.











‘.‘3Place of loading


1.14 Date of departure

‘.‘5 Means of Transport

Aeroplane Ship Railway wagon Road Vehicle Other




1.16Entry BIP



‘.‘8Description of Commodity

1.19Commodity code (HS Code)



‘.2‘Temperature of product

Ambient Chilled Frozen

1.22Number of Packages

‘.23Identification of container/Seal Number1

1.24Type of Packaging

‘.25Commodities certified for: Human Consumption


1.27For import

1.28Identification of the commodities

Approval number of establishments (EAN)

Species Nature of Manufacturing Number of

Treatment type plant packages Net weight

(Scientific Name) commodity



‘Only where applicable

2Nature of Commodity: specify marine/lake-wild caught/ aquaculture treatment type: live, chilled, frozen, processed manufacturing plant: factory vessel, freezer vessel, cold store, processing plant


Health attestation

II.a. Certificate reference







Public health attestation





I, the undersigned, declare that I am aware of the relevant provision of Regulations (EC) No

178/2002, (EC) No 852/2004, (EC) No 853/204 and (EC) No 854/2004 and certify that the

fishery products described above were produced in accordance with these requirements and

in particular that they:

  • Come from (an) establishment(s) implementing a programme base on the HACCP principles in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 852/2004,
  • Have been caught and handled on board vessels, landed, handled and where appropriate prepared, process, frozen and thawed hygienically in compliance with the requirements laid down in section VIII, Chapters I to IV of Annex III to Regulation (EC) 853/2004,
  • Satisfy the health standards laid down in Section III, Chapter V of Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 and the criteria laid down in Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 on microbial criteria of food stuffs,
  • Have been marked in accordance with Section I of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004
  • The guarantees covering live animals and products thereof, if from aquaculture origin, provided by the residue plans submitted in accordance with Directive 96/23/EC, and in particular Article 29 thereof, are fulfilled


  • Have satisfactorily undergone the official controls laid down in Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 854/2004.



Official inspector Name (in Capitals).

Date: ..............................


Qualification and title

Signature: ........................

Amount paid (U shs) Amount in words








  1. Processing establishment
  1. Applies to all premises where fish and fishery products are processed or packed and destined for supply into all food supply chains both internal and export markets.
  2. A working area of sufficient size for work to be carried out under adequate sanitary and hygienic conditions;
  3. Roofed and protected from contamination adequate ventilation and, where necessary, steam and water vapour extraction facilities.
  4. Adequate natural or artificial lighting.
  5. Processing facilities shall have adequate protection against product contamination from vermin such as insects, rodents, birds, etc.,.
  6. An adequate number of facilities for cleaning and disinfecting hands to be located in work processing areas, with soap and appropriate hand drying facilities.
  7. Toilets shall be placed such that they are—
  1. separated from processing areas;
  2. separated from drainage or sewage systems do not contaminate the product or processing areas;
  3. have adequate hand-washing facilities.
  1. All staff handling fishery products shall have knowledge of food hygiene practices and be aware of the hazards associated with the product and the means by which they are controlled.
  2. All staff involved with processing of fishery products shall follow Good Hygiene Practices (GHP) including;
  1. hand-washing before processing;
  2. wearing of protective uniforms, hairnets, footwear, etc. to prevent contamination of product;
  3. be in good health—
  1. have a bi-annual medical examination and certificate;
  2. not suffering from gastro-intestinal illnesses, vomiting, diarrhoea, infectious diseases, upper respiratory tract or skin infections.
  1. A person shall not smoke, eat, drink or spitt in the processing area, or sneez over food products.
  1. Fishery products should be handled and stored in such a way as to prevent contamination and minimize loss of quality.
  2. Instruments and working equipment such as cutting tables, containers, conveyor belts and knives that are made of corrosive-resistant materials and are easy to clean and disinfect;
  3. Facilities to provide adequate supplies of drinking water in accordance with the National Standard (DUS 201).
  1. Approved premises and equipment.

(1) In addition to the minimal requirement as listed in paragraph 1 the following are required—

  1. every establishment shall have a design and a layout that preclude

contamination of the product and keep quite separate the clean and contaminated parts of the building.

  1. areas where fish or fish products are handled, prepared or processed

shall have—

  1. water-proof flooring which is easy to clean and disinfect and laid

down in such a way as to facilitate the drainage of the water or provided with equipment to remove water;

  1. walls with smooth surfaces which are easy to clean and

disinfect, durable, and impermeable;

  1. adequate ventilation and, where necessary, steam and water vapour extraction facilities;
  2. adequate natural or artificial lighting;
  3. a ceiling of such height and of a smooth washable surface that

would ensure cleanliness;

  1. an adequate number of facilities for cleaning and disinfecting

hands in work rooms and lavatories provided with single-use hand paper towels; taps shall not be hand-operated;

  1. properly gazetted and demarcated adequate, appropriate, well- equipped facilities for cleaning and storage of equipment, and
  2. doors of durable material which are easy to clean and resistant to corrosion;
  3. adequate vermin proofing and appropriate facilities for protection against vermin;
  4. adequately trained and experienced supervisory staff;
  1. in the cold room, chill room, ice room and raw material store where

fish and fish products and ice are stored in accordance with, subparagraph (a), and where necessary, a sufficiently powerful refrigeration plant to keep products at the following temperatures—

  1. frozen fish products, with the exception of frozen fish in brine

intended for the manufacture of canned foods must be kept at an even temperature of -18°C or less in all parts of the product;

  1. fresh products shall be kept at a temperature of melting ice (0 ±

2°C) and super chilled products shall be in the ranges of -2 - - 5°C;

  1. adequate rooms for hygienic handling and storage of by-products, in

accordance with subparagraph 5 and the by-products shall be kept in acceptable non-corrosive containers;

  1. a hygienic waste water disposal system shall be approved by the

relevant authority;

  1. an adequate number of shower rooms with wash basins, changing

rooms and flush toilets with smooth, water proof, washable walls and floors;

  1. lavatories shall have adequate light and be well ventilated and the

toilets shall not open directly onto the processing hall;

  1. wash basins shall have materials for cleaning hands and disposable

paper towels and the wash basin taps shall be in accordance with subparagraph (a)(vi);

  1. a designated and adequately equipped facility for cleaning and

disinfecting means of transport; and

(j) an adequately equipped lockable room for the fish inspector.

  1. Hygienic conditions to be met.

An establishment shall maintain the following hygienic conditions—

  1. floors, walls and partitions, ceiling or roof linings, equipment and instructions used for working on fish and fish products shall be kept in a satisfactory state of cleanliness and repair so that they do not constitute a source of contamination for the fish or fish product;
  2. vermin shall be systematically exterminated in the premises or on the equipment; rodenticides, insecticides, disinfectants and any other potentially toxic substances shall be stored in premises or cupboards which can be locked and their use shall not present any risk of contamination of the products;
  3. appropriate facilities for protection against vermin such as insects, rodents, birds, etc., shall be provided;
  4. working areas, instruments and working equipment shall be used only for work on fish and fish products, unless the Commissioner has authorised that they may be used at the same time or other times for work on other foodstuffs;
  5. detergents, disinfectants and similar substances shall be approved by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards and used in such a way that they do not have adverse effects on the machinery, equipment and products;
  6. maintain the highest possible standard of cleanliness of staff and shall ensure that—
  1. staff wear suitable clean working clothes and head gear which completely encloses the hair;
  2. staff assigned to the handling or preparation of fish products wash their hands each time work is resumed;
  3. smoking, spitting, eating and drinking in work and storage premises of fish and fish products is prohibited;
  4. adequate amenities for hygiene and recreation including hand­washing facilities, toilets, changing rooms, and canteen are provided;
  1. ensure that a medical examination is carried out—
  1. in respect of any person to be employed by the establishment ;
  2. at least once in every six months for every employee who comes into direct contact with, or otherwise handles or supervises the handling of fish or fish products;
  1. a medical examination under sub paragraph (g) shall be carried out

with particular attention to—

  1. infected wounds and sores;
  1. enteric infections, including parasitic diseases and carrier states, specifically salmonella; and
  2. respiratory diseases;
  1. take all necessary measures to prevent any person who—
  1. is known to be suffering from a communicable disease; or
  2. has an infected wound or open lesion on any part of his or her body, from working on or handling fish or fish products, unless there is evidence that that person can do so without risk;

(J) ensure that employees who handle fish do not wear fingernail

polish, watches, rings or other jewellery.

  1. Product specific requirements
  1. This paragraph applies to all smoked products including the traditional smoking process in which product is smoked at high temperature >70°C for prolonged periods to produce a dried product that is utilized in soups and stews with prolonged cooking prior to consumption.
  1. fresh product to be used in smoked product should;

(i) meet all the requirements for fish safety & quality.

  1. smoking shall be carried out in a separate establishment away from other processing activities or use specialist ventilation systems to ensure adequate control of smoke & heat;
  2. materials for instance wood used to make smoke shall be—
  1. appropriate for use and not include pine, or soft woods.
  2. stored in appropriate conditions to prevent contamination, away from the smoke-house,
  3. free from paint,varnish,glue,creosote or any other chemicals that may cause harm to the consumer.
  1. smoked product shall be stored in cool dry conditions
  2. smoked products shall be handled, packed transported and stored in a manner that prevents contamination.
  3. smoked products for export, shall meet the requirements of the specific market including maximum residue limits set out in the eight schedule to these rules.
  1. Products defined as hot smoked have been smoked at temperatures greater than 70°C, where the fish is cooked rather than dried and as such are defined, as ready to eat products and as such should be processed under special hygienic conditions to prevent contamination and ensure product safety.
  2. Cold smoke products have been smoked at temperatures less than 30°C and require cooking prior to consumption, so post smoking handling and storage shall be the same as for other fishery products which are cold or chilled storage.
  3. This includes all processes where fishery products are dried including those that are salted.
  4. Raw materials to be used for production of dried product shall—
  1. meet all the requirements for fish safety and quality;
  2. ingredients and additives used shall be—
  1. approved for food use;
  2. labelled and stored under appropriate conditions;
  3. used at appropriate safe concentrations;
  1. dried product shall be stored in cool dry conditions that prevents


  1. dried products shall be handled, packed transported and stored in a

manner that prevents contamination.

  1. By products include, fish frames, skins, off-cuts, trimmings and others obtained from fish processing that remain in the food supply chain for human consumption.
  2. Establishments that produce or process by-products shall ensure that all by products are treated with the same standards and conditions as for other fish products, with respect to—
  1. handling;
  2. hygienic practices;
  3. storage conditions;
  4. transport conditions;

Unless a it can be shown that the by-products are not for human consumption.


  1. All vehicles or vessels used for the transportation of fish or fishery products shall be approved and issued with a certificate of inspection and approval, by competent authority set out in these rules.
  2. Fish and fish products shall, during storage and transport, be kept at the temperatures specified in this schedule—
  1. Frozen fish and fish products, must be kept at a temperature of - 18°C or less in all parts of the product.
  2. Fresh products shall be kept at a temperature of melting ice (0 ± 2°C
  1. Transport used for transporting fish or fish products shall not be used for transporting other products or objects likely to impair or contaminate the fish or fish products.
  2. Vehicles used for the transportation of fish and fish products shall—
  1. be constructed and equipped in such away that the temperatures prescribed in paragraph 2 are maintained throughout the period of transportation.
  2. be provided with adequate drainage in order to ensure that water from melted ice does not stay in contact with the fish or fish products where ice is used to chill fish or fish products,
  1. It is an offence to transport fish products in a vehicle or container which is not clean and disinfected or which does not meet the conditions laid down in these rules.
  2. Cleaning of vehicles, and in particular the interiors of fish containers shall use potable or clean water.
  3. Loading and unloading facilities shall be made and constructed of material which is easy to clean, disinfect and must be kept in a good state of repair and cleanliness. Unloading and loading operations shall proceed rapidly with vehicle engines switched off.
  4. Fish or fish products shall be placed without unnecessary delay in a protected environment at the temperature required on the basis of the nature of the product;

  1. Equipment and handling practices that cause unnecessary damage to the edible parts of the fish or fish products shall be avoided.
  2. All vehicles used for the transportation of fish and fish products shall be in good state of repair to ensure fast and safe delivery.







This inspection is done in accordance with the requirements of the Fish Quality Assurance Rules of 2008 describing the specific sanitary requirements for fish transportation trucks or vessels.

On this date of__________________ , the Competent Authority inspector(s)

has / have inspected the truck / vessel of Mr./ Mrs./ Dr./ M/s______________

of P.O. Box ______________ (Town), verified the license information and

other relevant documents, established that the transport capacity is

____________ Tons and that it is refrigeration / insulation / open capacity are

acceptable for transporting fish and fishery products as of inspection time.

Therefore, the Truck / vessel is recommended for licensing by the District authority. This approval is only valid for 6 months from the date of inspection and approval.


‘This certificate is authentic only when stamped by DFR inspection seal


  1. Packaging of fish and fish products shall be carried out under satisfactory conditions of sanitation and hygiene to preclude contamination of the products.
  2. Packaging materials and products likely to come into contact with fish or fish products shall comply with the general rules of hygiene in the Second Schedule including the following—
  1. they shall not be such as to impair the organoleptic characteristics of the fish or fish products;
  2. they shall not be capable of transmitting to the fish or fish products, substances harmful to human health;
  3. they shall be strong enough to protect the fish or fish products adequately.
  1. Packaged products shall be labelled so as to accurately describe the content without misleading the consumer and shall be in accordance with Uganda National Standard US7 (General Standard for Labelling of Pre­Packaged Foods).

Packaging materials shall not be re-used except for containers made of impervious, smooth, and corrosion-resistant materials which are easy to clean and disinfect, and which may be re-used after cleaning and disinfecting.

  1. Packaging materials used for fresh products held under ice shall provide adequate drainage for melt water.
  2. Unused packaging materials shall be stored in premises away from the production area and shall be protected from vermin, pests, dust and contamination.



  1. This schedule applies to all fish establishments and ice manufacturing facilities.
  2. The management of an establishment shall—
  1. account for the sources of water supply; whether mains, mains with intermediate storage, surface water or bore-hole/well water;
  2. be responsible for ensuring that water used in the establishment is potable;
  3. be able to demonstrate the water distribution system within the establishment; and
  4. provide a water reticulation plan within the establishment and the outlets shall be identified by consecutive numbering so that they can be located in the plan.
  5. under the supervision of a fish inspector collect samples and undertake analysis in accredited laboratories to verify water quality according to the sampling schedule set out in the procedures.
  1. Potable water standard

Water used in the establishment shall meet the National Standard as stated in DUS 201 (Drinking/ Potable water specification). Water and ice shall be verified by the Competent Authority to ascertain compliance to the requirements of the of the potable water standard. Routine monitoring of water quality shall be conducted by the establishment.

  1. The chlorination system shall comply with the following—
  1. chlorine shall be added in-line by dosing or injection (gas or liquid) prior to intermediate storage to permit sufficient contact time with the water in order to allow the chlorine to react with the organic matter;
  2. the retention tank shall have the capacity to retain water together with the chlorine added for 30 minutes;

  1. the cleaning programme for the intermediate storage tanks shall be documented, monitored and demonstrated;
  2. the free residual chlorine for all water used for processing fish shall be in accordance with the water distributed by the National Water and Sewerage Corporation or other relevant authority;
  3. the management of an establishment shall put in place measures to ensure the functioning of the chlorination system, and the free residual chlorine shall be checked at least every two hours;


  1. Landing Sites

All Fish shall be landed at either Gazetted or Designated landing sites in accordance with The Fish Beach Management Rules, 2003.

  1. Gazzetted landing sites

Gazzetted landing sites shall be managed by designated fish inspectors and BMU, who will be responsible for the maintenance of the site and collection of records with respect to fish landings and product quality and shall meet the following criteria—

  1. all products are protected from contamination with respect to facilities; equipment and operations;
  2. weighing and loading areas should be covered or roofed;
  3. the site shall be secure, fenced, and measures implemented to restrict access to authorised personnel and minimize the presence of pest;
  4. floor shall be designed such that waste water drains away from the fish handling areas;
  5. facilities should cleaned on regular basis;
  6. fish contact surfaces are of materials that are easily cleaned and where necessary disinfected;
  7. appropriate sanitary or toilet facilities should be provided;
  8. appropriate and separate washing facilities are available for equipment, hand washing;
  9. potable or clean water is available for cleaning of facilities, equipment etc;

(j) ice is stored in appropriate cleanable containers;

(k) fish shall be transferred to chilled or iced storage as quickly as possible;

(m) all waste, should be quickly removed from fish handling areas and disposed of appropriately.

(n) good personnel hygiene practices shall be employed by persons selling fish & fishery products;

(o)    all persons handling fish or fishery products shall have a valid medical certificate attesting to their fitness to handle food.

  1. Designated landing sites

Landing sites recognised by local Governments and operated by a BMU for the purposes of providing access to fishing, landing, handling processing and marketing fish, collection of fisheries information and the issuing of fish movement permits in accordance with the Fish (Beach Management) Rules, 2003

  1. Fish markets and retail sites

All fish that are displayed for sale shall—

  1. be displayed off the ground, on surfaces made of durable, non-toxic and corrosion-resistant material that is smooth and easy to clean.
  2. be displayed in appropriate storage conditions to prevent contamination and ensure, where necessary, temperature control, e.g. use of ice;
  3. protected from adverse weather conditions and contamination.
  1. Vessels:

In addition to the requirements of the third Schedule the following conditions for vessel design and operation shall be met

(1) Requirements for all vessels

  1. fish shall be handled according to good handling practices (GHP) and be—

  1. protected from contamination, sewage, smoke, fuel, oil, grease or other objectionable substances;
  2. protected from the effects of the sun or any other source of heat;
  3. handled and stored so as to prevent bruising or damage to the edible flesh.
  1. Requirements for vessels designed and equipped to store fresh fish collection or transport vessels.

All vessels that store and transfer fish shall—

  1. be designed and equipped with holds, tanks or containers for the storage of ice and fishery products at the chill temperatures.
  2. have fish holds which separated from the engine fuel tanks etc. to prevent any contamination of the stored fishery products.
  3. have holds and containers used for the storage of fishery products must ensure their preservation under satisfactory conditions of hygiene and ensure that melt water does not remain in contact with the products.
  4. have surfaces made of durable, non-toxic and corrosion-resistant material that is smooth and easy to clean.
  5. when in use, the parts of vessels or containers set aside for the storage of fishery products must be kept clean and maintained in good repair and condition and in particular, they must not be contaminated by fuel or bilge water.




The approval of processing establishments under these rules will involve the following stages

  1. Provisional approval of an Establishment

(1) The establishments shall provide the following documentation for approval before construction.

  1. company registration certificate;
  2. copy of memorandum of association;
  3. copy of certificate of incorporation;
  4. Uganda Investment Authority certificate or licence;
  5. land title;
  6. Environment Impact Assessment report/ Statement (EIA/S) approved by NEMA;
  7. Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Manual;
  8. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Manual;
  9. approved architectural plans (A4) which demonstrates that the proposed facility shall have;
  1. sufficient area to carry out work under sanitary & hygienic conditions;
  2. the layout preclude contamination with clear separation of low and high risk areas;
  3. indication of product flow, personnel, and ice;
  4. disposition of facilities, equipment and utensils and their specifications including equipment washing & storage areas;
  5. adequate by product handling area with suitable equipments, utensils to ensure hygienic conditions.

(j) application letter seeking permission for provisional approval, indicating the full names, physical and postal addresses of the managers, directors and share holders; the number of employees, CV’s of technical staff, installed production and storage capacities, water and ice capacities and description and composition of the products.

  1. An on-site verifications will be conducted to ensure that the relevant requirements of rules are fully complied with.
  2. Upon meeting these requirements, the Commissioner may grant provisional approval for the establishment to process fishery products.
  1. Full establishment approval

Within three months of obtaining provisional approval the establishment shall be audited to establish that—

  1. the premises, facilities, equipment maintain compliance with the standards:
  2. that operational practices meet the requirements with respect to standards of—
  1. hygienic operation
  2. product quality and safety control systems implemented correctly.
  3. records and documentation are maintained.
  4. product traceability.
  1. Compliance with these requirements shall allow the Commissioner to grant the establishment full approval with the issuance of:-
  1. annual approval certificate
  2. establishment approval number.
  1. Annual renewal of establishment approval number

The approval status of an establishment will be reviewed annually and a new certificate issued on the basis of compliance to these rules and supportive standards.





This is to certify that the fish establishment: ...........................................

EAN ............................................ Own by: ........................................

Which is located on plot number: .........................................

Address .................................................

Town               ......................................

Has be registered and approved for the purposes of fishery: (delete as applicable)

Collecting Holding                           Ice Production Preparation Processing Storing Transporting Export

Other please state: .......................................................................................

For the following products

(Description of products types and

processes)             ....................................................................................................................................................................................................

For a period of 12 months from the date of issue of this certificate

Subject to the following conditions:

  1. The fish establishment shall conform to the requirements of the Fishery Quality Assurance Rules and associated schedules
  2. This approval certificate is not transferable
  3. Any change in the ownership of the certified fish establishment shall automatically invalidate this certificate.
  4. This certificate shall be displayed conspicuously in the fish establishment.

Commissioner of Fisheries: (Type name here) Signature: .........................................................

Date of Issue: ...................................................

Official Stamp


The purpose of this schedule is to provide the standards by which objective assessment of compliance is determined as foreseen by these rules and supportive standard operating procedures. The presence of a parameter in this schedule does not imply that regular analysis will be conducted.


Including those caught and processed in Uganda and those imported from other countries that are of similar types i.e. Freshwater species fresh or frozen.

Microbial Limits

a) pathogens

Max Limits

Sallamonella spp


Vibro cholera


Listeria monocytogenes


a) hygiene indicators


Escherichia Coli (E. coli)


Staphylococcus aureaus


Total Plate Count TPC




Quality/Freshness Indicators


Sample type

Max Value


Fish Muscle (Lates niloticus only)

18-25mg TVBN/100g



Chemical contaminants in fish


Sample type



Fish Muscle

300 mg/kg.


Fish Muscle

0.5 mg/kg.


Fish Muscle

0.05 mg/kg

Sum of Dioxins

Fish Muscle

4.0 pg/g

Sum of Dioxins & Dioxins like PCBs

Fish Muscle

8.0 pg/g



Analysis of chemical contaminants of fish are conducted as part of the residue and contaminant monitoring program as described in Manual Of Standard Operating Procedures For Fish Inspection And Quality Assurance, which also includes analysis of water and sediments

Processing contaminants


Sample type



Muscle meat of smoked fish and smoked fishery products

5.0 ^g/kg wet weight


Muscle meat of fish, other than smoked fish

2.0 ^g/kg wet weight



Aquaculture Residues In muscle of fish













Nitrofurans/.;l ;l







Verification of presence of antibiotics



50 ^g kg-1



50 ^g kg-1



600 ^g kg-1


Oxolinic acid

300 ^g kg-1



50 ^g kg-1



100 ^g kg-1



100 ^g kg-1



100 ^g kg-1


Organochlorines incl. PCBs and Dioxin

Not set



0.2 mg kg-1



0.5 mg kg-1



0.5 mg kg-1


Aflotoxins B1,B2,G1,G3

20 ^g/kg


Malachite Green

0.2 ^g/kg


Leucomalachite green


2^g kg



All fishery products entering the country shall be—

  • compliant with section 11 of these rules
  • clearly labelled with batch identification number, identity of the supplier or or processor and country of origin.
  • accompanied with a valid health certificate issued by the competent authority of the supplying country.
  • meet the standards as laid down in this rules;
  • meet the following species specific or product type standards as set out below:


Product/sample type

Maximum limit


Shelled and shucked products of cooked crustaceans and molluscan shellfish





Shelled and shucked products of cooked crustaceans and molluscan shellfish




Live bivalve molluscs and live echinoderms, tunicates and gastropods


in 25g


Cooked crustaceans and molluscan shellfish


in 25g


Live bivalve molluscs and live echinoderms, tunicates and gastropods


MPN/100g of flesh and intra-valvular liquid


Fish species associated with high levels of Histadine



PAH Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Crustaceans, cephalopods, other than smoked. The maximum level applies to crustaceans, excluding the brown meat of crab and excluding head and thorax meat of lobster and similar large crustaceans (Nephropidae and Palinuridae)


|ig/kg wet weight

PAH Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Bivalve molluscs (26)


|ig/kg wet weight


Crustaceans, excluding brown meat of crab and excluding head and thorax meat of lobster and similar large crustaceans(Nephropidae and Palinuridae)


mg/kg wet weight


Bivalve molluscs


mg/kg wet weight


Cephalopods (without viscera)


mg/kg wet weight


Muscle meat of swordfish (Xiphias gladius)


mg/kg wet weight


Crustaceans, excluding brown meat of crab and excluding headand thorax meat of lobster and similar large crustaceans(Nephropidae and Palinuridae)


mg/kg wet weight


Bivalve molluscs


mg/kg wet weight


Cephalopods (without viscera)


mg/kg wet weight

Dioxins and PCBs

Muscle meat of fish and fishery products and products thereof, excluding eel (The maximum level applies to crustaceans, excluding the brown meat of crab and excluding head and thorax meat of lobster and similar large crustaceans (Nephropidae and Palinuridae)


pg/g wet weight Sum of dioxins





Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.