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Aquatic Animal Health Code

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the OIE 88th General Session, scheduled to take place in May 2020, has been postponed until 2021. As a result of this postponement, no adoption of new or revised OIE International Standards will occur in 2020. Therefore, no edition of the Aquatic Code will be published this year (2020). The latest version is therefore the 2019 edition.


The OIE Aquatic Animal Health Code (the Aquatic Code) provides standards for the improvement of aquatic animal health worldwide. It also includes standards for the welfare of farmed fish and use of antimicrobial agents in aquatic animals. The sanitary measures in the Aquatic Code should be used by the Competent Authorities of importing and exporting countries for the prevention, early detection, reporting and control of pathogenic agents in aquatic animals (amphibians, crustaceans, fish and molluscs) and to prevent their spread via international trade in aquatic animals and their products, while avoiding unjustified sanitary barriers to trade.

The standards in the Aquatic Code have been adopted by the World Assembly of OIE Delegates, which constitutes the organisation’s highest decision-making body.

The following amendments were adopted at the 87th General Session in May 2019 for inclusion in the 22nd edition of the Aquatic Code:

  • Glossary: revised definition for 'basic biosecurity conditions';
  • Chapter 1.5. ’Criteria for listing species as susceptible to infection with a specific pathogen’;
  • Chapter 8.3. ’Infection with Ranavirus’;
  • Chapter 9.1. ’Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease’;
  • Articles 10.2.1. and 10.2.2. of Chapter 10.2. ’Infection with Aphanomyces invadans’;
  • Article 10.5.2. of Chapter 10.5.’ Infection with salmonid alphavirus’;
  • Articles 10.6.1., 10.6.2. and 10.6.8. of Chapter 10.6. ’Infection with infectious haematopoietic necrosis virus’;
  • Article 10.7.2. of Chapter 10.7. ’Infection with koi herpesvirus’;
  • Article 10.9.2. of Chapter 10.9. ’Infection with spring viraemia of carp virus’;
  • Article X.X.8. of  all disease-specific chapters (except for Article 10.3.8. of Chapter 10.3. 'Infection with Gyrodactylus salaris' due to the nature of the pathogenic agent) and Article 10.4.12. of Chapter 10.4. 'Infection with infectious salmon anaemia virus'.

The Aquatic Code includes a User’s Guide which is designed to help Competent Authorities and other interested parties use the Aquatic Code.

Sections 1 to 7 of the Aquatic Code include chapters on notification, diseases listed by the OIE and surveillance for aquatic animals; risk analysis; quality of Aquatic Animal Health Services; disease prevention and control; trade measures, import/export procedures and model health certification; antimicrobial use in aquatic animals; welfare of farmed fish.

Sections 8 to 11 of the Aquatic Code include disease-specific chapters for the OIE listed aquatic animal diseases. The recommendations are intended to prevent the pathogenic agent in question being introduced into an importing country. Each disease chapter includes a list of currently known susceptible species. The standards take into account the nature of the traded aquatic animals or aquatic animal products, the aquatic animal health status of the exporting country, zone or compartment, and the risk reduction measures applicable to each commodity.

The development of these standards and recommendations is the result of the work by the OIE Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission. For more information please refer to

The Aquatic Code is published annually in the three official OIE languages (English, French and Spanish). The Aquatic Code  is available online free of charge. 

A hard copy can be purchased from the OIE Online Bookshop.

OIE International Standards: The key to better animal health and welfare



Aquatic Code
22nd Edition, 2019
Format: 29.7 x 21 cm
ISBN: 978-92-95108-96-7

Price: 60 euros
Ref.: A250