Comply with New Zealand legislation and food standards
You need to meet requirements and all relevant food standards and regulations. Legal requirements are set out in the:
- Animal Products Act 1999
- Food Act 2014
- Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.
On this page: Find links to legislation and the Code
Find out about exporting under a plan or programme
If you process fish and seafood in New Zealand, you must manage risk to make sure you're providing safe and suitable food. Your operating requirements depend on what type of seafood processing you do and where it's done (for example, at sea or on land).
In most cases, you'll need a registered and verified risk management programme (RMP). Secondary processors of seafood going to a market that does not require an export certificate can, in some cases, be done under either an RMP or a food control plan – but you're advised to check destination requirements.
Processors carrying out limited processing at sea may instead register under a regulated control scheme (RCS). Note that:
- Seafood that is processed on an RMP vessel or a limited processing vessel can be exported directly. All other seafood must go through a land-based processor.
- Bivalve molluscan shellfish (BMS) are a high-risk product and must be sourced from classified growing areas operating under an RCS and then processed for export in RMP premises.
- RMPs can be developed using codes of practice for processing of seafood product or rendering.
Follow the rules for your type of business
The processing section on this website has details about the requirements for different types of processors and operators.
Limited processing fishing vessels
Factory vessels that carry out primary processing at sea under an RMP
Land-based processors and storage depots
Animal material depots that store fish and seafood
Other processors and operators
Growers, harvesters, and processors of bivalve molluscan shellfish (BMS)
Get your programme, scheme, or plan verified
You must register and get your RMP or RCS verified each year. MPI verification services verifies operators. You need to work with them to make sure your seafood complies with all the requirements and that you're following your RMP or RCS.
Find out about developing an RMP
Email MPI verification services at VSTechnicalTeam@mpi.govt.nz
Verifying a food control plan
If you operate under a food control plan, the verification process is different.
Find out about food control plans and how to get them verified
Use correct fish names
Exporters of fish and fish products need to meet the labelling and naming requirements of the export destination country. Fish products must also follow the labelling requirements set out in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.
List of approved fish names [PDF, 599 KB]
Find out more about using approved fish names
Storage and transport requirements
Operators who store or transport seafood before it is exported must meet specific requirements, depending on their market.
Find out about transporting animal products for export
Legislation and standards
Animal Products Act 1999 – NZ Legislation
Food Act 2014 – NZ Legislation
Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code – Food Standards
Find out more
The Food Act 2014 and what it means for businesses
Check the other 4 steps to exporting seafood
Who to contact
If you have questions about the New Zealand requirements to export seafood, email firstname.lastname@example.org