Tackle Disinfection – Iceland

For those that are travelling to Iceland to fish for the first time you might not be aware that you are required to disinfect your tackle prior to fishing.  This is a legal requirement that helps to protect the pristine Icelandic fisheries.  The system works, Gryodactylus Salaris has never been detected in freshwater fish, as fishermen travelling to Iceland we should respect this.

There are two options for disinfecting tackle:


If you plan on having it done in the UK, it should be done no more than two weeks before you travel but ideally one week.  Not all vets offer this service, so please check with your local vet prior to arranging an appointment.  The vets will need to disinfect your waders, boots, rods (butt section only), reel and lines.

The approved disinfectants are:

Virkon-S (1%)

Virex (1%)

Crystalline soda (5%)

Setax (0,3%)

Korsolin (3%)

Formalin (2%)

Phenol solution (2- 5%)

The vet should then provide you with a signed certificate declaring they have disinfected the tackle; they will need to list all items that have been disinfected. A sample certificate can be downloaded from here: Certificate.  Please note this process needs to be undertaken by a qualified vet and you cannot do it yourself.



The alternative is to do the process at Keflavik airport on arrival.  When you are exiting the airport after collecting your luggage you should proceed to the customs counter and declare you are travelling with fishing tackle.  The customs official will then contact the MAST (The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority) representative at the airport who will come to meet you at the customs area. There he will take any tackle that needs to be disinfected into a private room where he will carry out the process.  They will spray all the items with a hand sprayer and wipe them down, any items that may retain some residue to moisture like a reel will be handed back in a plastic bag to ensure the rest of your luggage does not get wet.

On our last trip to Iceland on the 11th of June for the opening of the Thvera River, I had my waders, one reel and a rod done.  There was one other fisherman in front of me, the whole process for both of us took no longer than 10-15 minutes.

Once the process has been completed the MAST representative will take you to the KEF Parking booth where you will have to pay for the service.  The current cost at the time of writing is 4,900 ISK or £27 for the first 5 items and a further 300 ISK or £2 for each additional item.  You will then be presented with a certificate that you should keep on your person for the duration of your time fishing in Iceland.

Our opinion:

The process at Keflavik is so easy and simple. On the whole it is quicker than having to travel to and from your UK vet, it is also cheaper as the service in the UK is normally around the £50 mark.  We highly recommend people do their disinfecting on arrival in Iceland.image1

Note:  For those that are arriving via a private plane you will be required to have this process done in advance in the UK as there is no provision for this service in Reykjavik airport.




Comments 3

    1. Hi Richard
      Do you still recommend getting disinfection done on arrival at Keflavik – even on a latish flight?
      Many thanks

      1. Hi Richard
        Do you still recommend getting disinfection done on arrival at Keflavik – even on a latish flight?
        Many thanks

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