Limited processing fishing vessels (LPFVs) and food safety

If you operate a limited processing fishing vessel (LPFV) in New Zealand you need to understand the processing restrictions, meet the LPFV Regulated Control Scheme (RCS) requirements and register your vessel.

There are restrictions on the fish and fish product that operators of LPFVs can process on board. The processed fish material is usually exported.

Limited fish processing activities

If you operate an LPFV, you are restricted to the following primary processing activities:

  • washing, scaling and gutting
  • deheading, tubing and tailing
  • chilling and freezing
  • storage, packing and transport.

Limited processing does not include filleting. Vessel operators wanting to carry out filleting and other fish processing activities need to have a risk management programme (RMP).

For more information, read the requirements for RMP vessels processing at sea and inshore fishing vessels.

Find out more in the Animal Products (Definition of Primary Processor) Notice:

Meeting the requirements for LPFVs

In general, LPFVs are required to register under the LPFV Regulated Control Scheme (RCS).

You can choose to operate under a risk management programme (RMP) instead of the RCS. In this case, you need to meet the same requirements as RMP vessels.

Find out the requirements for RMPs and for RMP vessels processing at sea:

Processing for export

If you're processing seafood for export, there are other requirements you need to meet.

Find out the requirements for exporting seafood.

Choosing between the RCS and an RMP

You can choose to change from operating under the RCS to operating under an RMP, and vice versa. However, it is not possible to operate under both at the same time, either for your entire operation or a part of it.

RMP vessels doing limited processing

If you undertake limited processing for short periods, but otherwise operate as an RMP vessel, you should consider including all processing operations in a registered RMP rather than switching between the RCS and an RMP.

Some fish don't need an RMP

Fish taken in New Zealand's exclusive economic zone without being landed in New Zealand or called product of New Zealand are excluded from the Animal Products Act and do not need an RMP.

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

Who the RCS applies to

If you operate an LPFV and export seafood directly from your vessel, you need to operate under the LPFV RCS.

The RCS covers all limited processing operations carried out on LPFVs, including the processing of fish products and fishmeal.

Key requirements of the RCS

Under the RCS, you need to:

  • register your LPFV
  • develop a documented system for implementing the requirements of the RCS, including the control of food safety hazards
  • have your system checked by a recognised verifier.

Two legal documents define the RCS for LPFV operators.

Applying to register your LPFV

Before you begin to trade, you must apply to register your LPFV using Form AP17.

List of registered LPFVs

Under law, MPI maintains a list of all registered LPFVs, which is available as a searchable database or a list.

RCS verification

An initial verification report completed by a recognised verifier is required within 3 months of the date of application for registration. Ongoing verification is completed by a recognised verifier on a performance basis.

Find out more in the Animal Products (Specifications for Limited Processing Fishing Vessels) Notice:

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