RMP vessels processing at sea

RMP vessels or factory vessels carry out primary processing under a risk management programme (RMP). Some fish processed at sea is exempt.

RMP vessels carry out fishing and primary processing of fish while at sea. Processed fish may go directly from the vessel to market without further processing. It may be sold in New Zealand or sent for export.

What is primary processing for RMP vessels?

If you operate an RMP vessel, the range of primary processing allowed is broader than for inshore fishing vessels and limited processing fishing vessels (LPFVs). Some of the processing activities that count as secondary processing for land-based processing premises are classified as primary processing for factory vessels. This depends on whether you intend to export the fish without further land-based processing.

Primary processing includes:

  • filleting finfish at sea, whether or not the fish are to be delivered to an onshore processor
  • all other processes normally applied to the fish if they are intended for export without delivery to an onshore processor.

More information can be found in the Animal Products (Definition of Primary Processor) Notice:

Meeting the requirements for RMP vessels

RMP vessels are required to operate under a registered RMP and comply with the Animal Products Notice: Specifications for Product Intended for Human Consumption.

If you're rendering, you need to comply with the requirements of the Animal Products Notice: Specifications for Products Intended for Animal Consumption.

Learn about the requirements for rendering fish material:

Find out more about RMPs for seafood and the code of practice for processing seafood products:

Learn about the general requirements for developing, registering and operating your RMP: 

Seafood guidelines

MPI works with the seafood industry to develop guidelines to help you manage your business activities and food safety risks in seafood such as Listeria and mercury.

Some fish don't need an RMP

Fish taken in New Zealand's exclusive economic zone that are not landed in New Zealand and not called product of New Zealand are excluded from the Animal Products Act and don't need to be processed under an RMP. This exemption is provided under clause 4 of the Animal Products (Exemptions and Inclusions) Order 2000.

Processing for export

If you're processing fish for export, there are further requirements you need to meet.

Find out more about exporting seafood.

Fisheries management requirements

If you're processing fish, you also need to meet fisheries management requirements.

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