RMP vessels processing at sea

Find out which fishing vessels that do primary processing at sea must have a risk management programme (RMP), and the requirements for these vessels.

What are RMP vessels?

Fishing vessels (boats) that do primary processing at sea are known as "RMP vessels" and "factory vessels". Processed fish from these vessels may go directly to market without further processing. It may be sold in New Zealand or sent for export.

You do not need an RMP for some fish

You do not need to process fish under 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.

Animal Products (Exemptions and Inclusions) Order 2000 – New Zealand Legislation

What is primary processing for RMP vessels?

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.

RMP vessel operators (factory vessel operators) can do more primary processing activities than:

  • inshore fishing vessels
  • limited processing fishing vessels (LPFVs).

Some processing activities that are normally classed as secondary processing (for land-based processing premises) are classed as primary processing on RMP vessels (factory vessels). It depends on whether you plan to export the fish without doing more land-based processing.

Animal Products (Definition of Primary Processor) Notice – New Zealand Legislation

Requirements for RMP vessels

RMP vessels must:

Rendering requirements for RMP vessels

The requirements for RMP vessels that do rendering are in the Animal Products Notice: Specifications for Products Intended for Animal Consumption [PDF, 771 KB]

Find out more about risk management for rendering fish material

RMP resources and guidelines  

Risk management programmes (RMPs) for seafood

Risk management programmes (RMPs), including how to develop, register, operate, and amend your RMP

Seafood RMP templates and food safety codes

Manuals and guidelines for seafood processing

Processing fish and seafood for export

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

Find out about exporting seafood

General commercial fishing requirements

If you process fish, you might also need to meet some general commercial fishing requirements. This will depend on what you're doing.

Find out about commercial fishing

Who to contact

If you have questions about RMP vessels or seafood processing, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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