Smoked fish export to u.k.


The bulk of smoked fish imports into the UK from West Africa were coming by air from Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon through Heathrow and Gatwick International airports. Product is also imported from other West African countries and East Africa. The bulk of product from Nigeria is via Gatwick, which receives almost daily consignments.

  • Catfish Clarias sp., head to tail with or without stick, Nigeria
  • Doctor fish species unknown, pieces, Ghana
  • Christal fish freshwater catfish, species un-known, whole head to tail, Ghana
  • Tilapia whole, Ghana
  • Tilapia pieces, Ghana, Nigeria
  • Heterotis pieces, Nigeria
  • Capitain species unknown, pieces
  • Barracuda small, whole and head to tail, Côte d’Ivoire large, pieces, Ghana
  • Mackerel head to tail, Côte d’Ivoire
  • Sardinella ‘herring’, whole, Côte d’Ivoire

The Nigerian catfish was typical of that produced in the Lake Chad region of the country. Calabar is another area of Nigeria from which the product is sourced. The sardinella seen on sale was typical of that produced in coastal Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Data from the UK Tariff and Statistical Office of HM Customs and Excise for



The wholesale price of smoked fish London was £7.50 to £28.00/kg, depending on supply.

Product Price (£/kg) Place Comment
Various 7.50 – 28.00 Fovitor International Ltd, London Wholesale
Herring 11.60 Abidjan Market, Camberwell,


Frozen smoked capitain 11.60
Frozen smoked mackerel 11.60
Various products whole and


15.40 – 8.70 Brixton Market, London
Various 13.20 Bantama Market, Leyton, London
Small pieces of fish 22.00 Ghana House, Brixton Market



The main ways in which smoked fish enters the by airfreight, as accompanied baggage


  • British Airways,
  • Swiss Air,
  • Sabena,
  • Alitalia,
  • KLM and
  • Ghana Airways

All carry smoked fish as airfreight.



Smoked fish arrive packaged in cardboard or polystyrene boxes. Each box contains between 12 – 25 kg of smoked fish. Boxes of herring are typically around 10 kg. Image below shows a consignment of smoked fish.



The majority of smoked fish is sold to consumers via Afro Caribbean grocery shops and Afro Caribbean restaurants in London. Some importers have their own grocery shops. Retailers are concentrated in certain areas of London such as Brixton, Peckham, Dalston in the south and Finsbury Park in the north. There are six retailers in Brixton Market alone.



As a result of enforcement of relatively recent EU legislation governing fish and fish products and import/export, consignments of smoked fish are regularly detained and often destroyed by Port Health Authorities at Gatwick and Heathrow Airports.

Approximately 1 in 4 consignments of air freighted smoked fish are detained by Port Health for some reason at port of entry and

70% of these are destroyed. This is approximately 17.5% of airfreight consignments and equivalent to 20 tonnes of product per annum, with a retail value of £240 000 to £390 000 at current prices. The main reasons why smoked fish consignments are detained are:


  • Smoked fish is smuggled in among other goods such as vegetables and is therefore undeclared and so has no health certificate. Likewise undeclared dried meat is concealed in consignments of smoked fish.
  • Packaging is inadequate – re-used computer or TV boxes, in poor condition, newspaper or baskets are used for packing the fish.
  • Insect infestation.
  • Establishment number stapled on the box rather than written on.
  • Health certificates not filled in correctly. For example the establishment number is used as the reference number. The word “various” is used as the scientific name of species rather than the scientific name. The wrong department is shown, the wrong weight or changes have been made.


  • Use of correct Packaging to control insect infestation and mould growth
  • The establishment of dedicated fish smoking plants/operations in West Africa which are approved for export by the EU.
  • Adherence to accompanied baggage requirement which is 20Kilo


Contact  us for more information:

Whatsapp: 08037163281

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *