Bivalve molluscan shellfish post-harvest operators

Find out about the requirements for bivalve molluscan shellfish (BMS) post-harvest operations, including relay, sorting sheds or depots, depuration, wet storage, or transport operations.

Overview of requirements

BMS post-harvest operators include:

Requirements that BMS post-harvest operators must meet are in the BMS regulated control scheme (BMS RCS):

Animal Products Notice: Regulated Control Scheme – Bivalve Molluscan Shellfish for Human Consumption [PDF, 874 KB]

Relay operators who transfer BMS

Relay operators transfer BMS from one growing area to another. BMS is often relayed to another:

  • ambient coastal marine area
  • land-based aquaculture facility.

This is done for food safety reasons, including reducing the spread of germs.

Essential reading for relay operators

Part 9 of the BMS RCS has requirements for relay operators.

To relay BMS:

  • the growing area you move the BMS to needs to be appropriately classified
  • you must develop relay operating procedures
  • you must have a relay permit issued by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

Applying for a permit to relay BMS

Complete application form AP42 to apply for an annual relay permit.

AP42: Application for permit to operate as a relay operator [PDF, 281 KB]

AP42: Application for permit to operate as a relay operator [DOC, 243 KB]

You'll need to document your relay operating procedures and include these with your application.

Send everything to your MPI animal product officer.

Sorting shed and depot operators

Sorting sheds and depots have different purposes, but the food safety requirements for them are the same.

Sorting shed

These are buildings or structures where BMS is handled directly after harvesting and before being transported to a processor, wholesaler, or retailer.

The BMS are sorted first to enable separation for:

  • farm management
  • wet storage
  • relaying
  • culling.

Separation is when BMS are sorted based on:

  • what needs to be done to them
  • where they need to go.

Sorting shed operations can happen at a BMS depot.

BMS depot

BMS depots hold BMS in a temperature-controlled environment before they're transported to a processor, wholesaler, or retailer.

BMS depots can be refrigerated container units, buildings, or structures.

Sorting shed operations can happen at a BMS depot.

Requirements for sorting sheds and BMS depots

Part 12 of the BMS RCS has requirements for sorting shed and BMS depots.

You must:

  • get verified
  • list your sorting shed or BMS depot with MPI.

Listing your sorting shed or BMS depot

To apply for listing as an authorised sorting shed or depot, you need to send MPI your:

  • completed application form
  • verification report
  • fee.

Contact details and costs for listing are on the forms.

AP44: Bivalve molluscan shellfish depot operator listing [PDF, 849 KB]

AP44: Bivalve molluscan shellfish depot operator listing [DOC, 499 KB]

AP45: Bivalve molluscan shellfish sorting shed operator listing [PDF, 884 KB]

AP45: Bivalve molluscan shellfish sorting shed operator listing [DOC, 498 KB]

Lists of sorting sheds and depots

We have lists of operators that are authorised to sort and hold BMS for commercial purposes:

List of bivalve molluscan shellfish sorting sheds

List of bivalve molluscan shellfish depot operators

Depuration operators

Depuration (cleansing or purification) is the process of reducing the amount of germs and contaminants from BMS. To do this, BMS are put into tanks or some other managed environment.

If you're a depuration operator, you must operate under a risk management programme (RMP).

Risk management programmes for seafood

This requirement comes from the Animal Products Notice: Specifications for Products Intended for Human Consumption [PDF, 1.3 MB]

Wet storage operators

Wet storage is the temporary storage and transfer of BMS intended for retail, wholesale, or processing.

The BMS is moved from one growing area to another growing area or land-based facility. This is done for:

  • desanding (removing sand) before selling
  • conditioning before selling
  • storage before selling.

Part 10 of the BMS RCS has requirements for wet storage operators.

Operators doing wet storage on land must operate under an RMP.

Risk management programmes for seafood

You must also meet requirements in the Animal Products Notice: Specifications for Products Intended for Human Consumption [PDF, 1.3 MB]

Transport operators

Transport operators transport BMS from the growing area to the primary processor. They can transport it by road, rail, sea, or air.

Part 13 of the BMS RCS has requirements for transport operators.

This includes the requirements to:

  • get verified
  • list your vehicles with MPI.

Listing as a transport operator

To apply for listing as an authorised transport operator, you need to send MPI your:

  • completed application form AP46
  • verification report
  • fee.

Contact details and cost for listing are on the form.

AP46: Bivalve molluscan shellfish transport operator listing [DOC, 495 KB]

AP46: Bivalve molluscan shellfish transport operator listing [PDF, 830 KB]

List of transport operators

We have a list of operators that are authorised to transport BMS for commercial purposes:

List of bivalve molluscan shellfish transport operators

Who to contact

If you have questions about BMS post-harvest operations, email info@mpi.govt.nz

Last reviewed: