Risk management programmes for seafood

Only some seafood businesses need a risk management programme (RMP). Find out if your business needs one, and what you have to do.

Seafood processors that need an RMP

Most primary processors of seafood need a risk management programme (RMP).

These activities need an RMP:

  • fishing vessels that fillet fish on board
  • land-based seafood processing premises that do primary processing and only sell wholesale fish
  • processing premises handling any seafood products (including cold and dry stores) that will be exported with an official assurance (export certificate)
  • rendering operations that process any seafood for animal consumption.

The following premises need an RMP if they handle bivalve molluscan shellfish (BMS):

  • depuration (cleansing) premises
  • land-based wet storage premises.

Check the legal requirements

Animal Products Act 1999

Guidance document: An overview of the Animal Products Act 1999 [PDF, 565 KB]

Seafood activities that do not need an RMP

The following activities do not need an RMP:

  • inshore vessels that don't fillet fish on board
  • limited processing fishing vessels (LPFVs) that operate under the LPFV regulated control scheme (RCS)
  • fish farmers
  • fish retailers (if they operate under the Food Act 2014)
  • fish depots
  • whitebait harvesters
  • fish-related tourist ventures.

These exemptions are found in the Animal Products (Exemptions and Inclusions) Order 2000

Bringing fish out of New Zealand's exclusive economic zone

You do not need an RMP if:

  • the fish you catch are not landed in New Zealand
  • the fish or fish products are not claimed to be New Zealand products.

This RMP exemption is in clause 4 of the Animal Products (Exemptions and Inclusions) Order 2000.

Check your other seafood food safety requirements

Remember to also check the general food safety requirements for seafood processing

RMP template for filleting fish on inshore fishing vessels

If you fillet fish on an inshore fishing vessel, you can use our RMP template. This template does not cover requirements for exporting fish that have been filleted on board your vessel. If you wish to export filleted fish, you must have a fully customised and registered RMP.

You can download the RMP template as a PDF or Word document.

RMP template: Inshore vessels – Fish filleting [PDF, 354 KB]

RMP template: Inshore vessels – Fish filleting [DOC, 482 KB]

Check the guidelines to help you complete it.

Guidelines for RMP for inshore vessels fish filleting [PDF, 63 KB]

General RMP information

Guidelines for specific seafood risks and activities

Seafood guidelines are developed to help seafood operators manage certain seafood-related activities or risks.

For example, the Seafood Operational Code describes good operating practice for seafood processing operations, and the Listeria guidance documents describe how operators can minimise Listeria contamination.

Seafood guidelines

Find out more

RMP vessel processing requirements

Inshore fishing vessels food safety requirements

Limited inshore processing vessel food safety requirements

General food safety requirements for inshore fishing vessels

If you operate on an inshore fishing vessel and don't fillet on board, refer to inshore fishing vessel food safety requirements

Find more RMP information

Our general information on RMPs includes:

  • how to create and use an RMP
  • templates and resources
  • how to register, update, and cancel an RMP.

Who to contact

If you have questions about risk management programmes for seafood, email info@mpi.govt.nz

Last reviewed: