Animal material depots holding seafood

If you operate an animal material depot holding fish (other than BMS), your procedures and premises must comply before you can be listed with MPI.

Depots holding Bivalve Molluscan Shellfish (BMS) are covered under the BMS Regulated Control Scheme (RCS). Look for the page, BMS growing, harvesting and processing in the menu on the left.

What animal material depots do

Animal material depots temporarily hold fish material – other than BMS – before it is transferred to a primary processor who will process it for human consumption.

An animal material depot, including those holding fish, may undertake the following activities with animal material:

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

However, animal material depots cannot process any animal material. They only hold the material until it is transferred to a primary processor.

Meeting requirements for animal material depots

You can find all the requirements for animal material depots in the Animal Products Notice: Specifications for Products Intended for Human Consumption. Refer particularly to Part 12.

Listing as an animal material depot

Before you start operating as an animal material depot, you must:

  • apply to MPI for listing
  • undergo an initial verification.

You can find details of listing and verification requirements in a statement of policy for animal material depots under the Animal Products Notice: Specifications for Products Intended for Human Consumption.

Use the form, AP19, to apply for listing. Your initial verification report must accompany your completed application. Fees and charges associated with listing are mentioned on the form.

Getting verified

Your verification report is completed by an agency recognised by MPI to undertake verification. A verifier checks to ensure that your depot meets the relevant food safety requirements. MPI keeps a list of recognised verifiers.

Future verification visits

Once your animal material depot is listed with MPI, a recognised agency carries out regular verification visits according to the schedule in the Verification Statement of Policy. Details are in Schedules 1 and 2. Your depot will not require verifications visits every year.

List of registered animal material depots

MPI, under law, maintains a list of all registered animal material depots. It is available as a searchable database or a list.

Meeting requirements for animal material depots holding BMS

If your depot holds BMS, then the requirements are specified in the BMS Regulated Control Scheme (RCS). Refer particularly to Part 11.

Animal Products (Specifications for Bivalve Molluscan Shellfish) Notice

Animal Products (Regulated Control Scheme—Bivalve Molluscan Shellfish) Regulations 2006 (External website)

The requirements ensure that the BMS is safe and suitable for sale and includes requirements to:

  • minimise the possibility of contamination
  • identify BMS correctly.

You should also refer to the information on the BMS growing, harvesting and processing page in the left-hand menu and the associated page for post-harvest operators which includes information about sorting sheds and depots.

Post-harvest operators

Meeting requirements for animal material depots holding fish

If you operate a fish material depot, you need to meet requirements for:

  • the way you operate
  • your premises.

You are not required to have a Risk Management Programme (RMP). This exemption is provided under section 11 of the Animal Products (Exemptions and Inclusions) Order 2000.

Animal Products (Exemptions and Inclusions) Order 2000 (External website)

Requirements include:

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

For the full details of animal material depot requirements, including fish, refer to the Animal Products Notice: Specifications for Products Intended for Human Consumption. The specific requirements for depots that hold fish material are provided in Part 12, clause 12.9.

Export requirements for animal material depots

If your depot holds fish material for human consumption that, after processing, will be exported, there are additional requirements you need to meet. These are detailed in Exporting seafood in the menu on the left.