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Trade in seal products


Regulation (EC) No 1007/2009 on trade in seal products



It sets out harmonised rules for placing seal products on the EU market.


  • Seal products may only be placed on the market in the EU if they come from hunts carried out by Inuit* or other indigenous communities. The hunt must:
    • be traditionally conducted by the community
    • contribute to the community’s subsistence in order to provide food and income and not be primarily conducted for commercial reasons
    • pay due care to animal welfare, while taking account of the community’s way of life and the subsistence purpose of the hunt.
  • When being placed on the market, a seal product must have a certificate confirming all the above conditions have been complied with.
  • Bodies authorised by the European Commission issue the certificates.
  • Travellers and their families may import seal products which are for their personal use. If such products are to be imported at a later date, the travellers should have the relevant documentation.
  • If the Commission has evidence that products come from a seal hunt conducted primarily for commercial reasons, it may ban, or limit, their being placed on the EU market.
  • The Commission informs the public, the competent authorities and the customs authorities about the conditions under which seal products may be placed on the market in the EU.
  • By 31 December 2018, and then every 4 years, EU countries report to the Commission on the measures they have taken to implement the legislation.
  • The Commission, within a year of receiving the national reports, provides an overall report to the European Parliament and the Council. The first report will be submitted by 31 December 2019.


It applies since 20 November 2009.


Seals are hunted inside and outside the EU for a variety of purposes. They are used to obtain meat, oil, blubber, organs and fur skins, and for articles as diverse as Omega-3 capsules and clothing.


* Inuit: indigenous members of the Inuit homeland, namely those arctic and subarctic areas where, presently or traditionally, Inuit have aboriginal rights and interests, recognised by Inuit as being members of their people. The term includes Inupiat, Yupik (Alaska), Inuit, Inuvialuit (Canada), Kalaallit (Greenland) and Yupik (Russia).


Regulation (EC) No 1007/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on trade in seal products (OJ L 286, 31.10.2009, pp. 36–39)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 1007/2009 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.


Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1850 of 13 October 2015 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1007/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on trade in seal products (OJ L 271, 16.10.2015, pp. 1–11)

last update 31.03.2016