Animal material depots storing fish and seafood

Find out the requirements that animal material depots must meet to hold seafood before it's transferred to a processor or fish retailer.

What animal material depots do

Animal material depots temporarily hold fish material (other than bivalve molluscan shellfish) before it's transferred to a seafood processor or retailer.

An animal material depot holding fish may:

  • hold
  • chill
  • refrigerate
  • sedate (using a registered veterinary medicine)
  • apply protective coverings.

But animal material depots can't process any fish.

Requirements for animal material depots holding fish and seafood

If you operate an animal material depot that holds fish and seafood, there are food safety requirements you must meet. These include:

  • describing how you manage the risks of contamination
  • showing that you operate within your capability and capacity
  • ensuring your premises are suitably constructed.

You're not required to have a risk management programme (RMP). The requirements are set out in more detail in an animal products notice.

Animal Products Notice: Specifications for Products Intended for Human Consumption [PDF, 1.3 MB]

Different requirements for bivalve molluscan shellfish animal depots

If your animal material depot holds bivalve molluscan shellfish, there are different requirements you need to meet as set out in the animal products notice.

Animal Products Notice: Regulated Control Scheme - Bivalve Molluscan Shellfish for Human Consumption [PDF, 1.1 MB]

Find out more about bivalve molluscan shellfish

Animal Products (Regulated Control Scheme – Bivalve Molluscan Shellfish) Regulations 2006 – NZ Legislation

Bivalve molluscan shellfish (BMS) post-harvest operators

To operate you must be verified and listed

Before you can operate an animal material depot, you must:

  • be verified by a recognised agency, and
  • apply to be listed with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

How to get verified

Contact an agency recognised by MPI and ask them to:

  • check that your depot meets the relevant requirements
  • complete an initial verification report.

Find a recognised verification agency

How to apply to be listed as an animal material depot

Use form AP19 to apply to be listed as an animal material depot, or to renew your listing.

Application form AP19 – Animal material depot listing [PDF, 2.7 MB]

You also need to:

  • send your initial verification report with the completed form, and
  • pay the listing fee shown on the form.

If your application is accepted you'll appear on our public list of all animal material depots. You need to apply to be re-listed every 2 years.

Public list of animal material depots

Ongoing verification requirements

Once your animal material depot is listed with MPI, you must have regular verification carried out by a recognised agency. Schedules 1 and 2 of the operational code tell you how often this needs to happen.

Operational Code: Verification [PDF, 508 KB]

Export requirements for animal material depots

If your depot holds fish for human consumption that will be exported after processing, you'll need to meet additional requirements.

Find out about the requirements for exporting seafood

Find out about storing animal products for export

Who to contact

If you have questions about animal material depots, email

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