Becoming an LFR

Only those persons licensed as Fish Receivers are permitted to receive fish for the purpose of sale from commercial fishermen. Section 191 of the Fisheries Act 1996 restricts the disposal of commercially taken fish, aquatic life, and seaweed by commercial fishermen.

To apply for a LFR licence the application form needs to be completed and submitted with the application fee. These applications can take several weeks to process as they are sent to the Ministry for Primary Industries for a recommendation. Applications and further information are available from FishServe.

Your Obligations

As an LFR you are required to adhere to very specific legal requirements with regard to documentation as well as completing an annual stocktake/inventory and an annual audit of your systems.

The Fisheries (Reporting) Regulations 2017 require all Licensed Fish Receiver Returns to be submitted electronically. As per the regulations, any returns recorded from the 1st of October 2017 by any Licensed Fish Receivers need to be submitted to FishServe electronically.

Click here to find out how to submit your returns electronically.

Licensed Fish Receiver Details Annual Update Form

As a licensed fish receiver you will receive a Licensed Fish Receiver Details Annual Update form, to advise of any changes to your LFR details. This will be sent either via email to be completed online or via post. It must be completed and returned within 14 days of receipt. You must also advise FishServe, as soon as is practicable, of any changes to your LFR details.

Licensed Fish Receiver Returns

To comply with the Fisheries (Reporting) Regulations 2017, all holders of a Fish Receiver’s Licence need to fill in Licensed Fish Receiver Returns (LFRR). This return records, as at the last day of each calendar month all fish received during that month. This return is due by the 15th day of the next month. Where no fish have been received in that month, a "NIL" return is required. This is due by the 15th day of the next month.

There is also a Licensed Fish Receiver Return Amendment (LFRRA) form, which caters for any amendments to a LFRR. This form allows you to change the quantity shown on previously submitted LFRRs.

You can submit your LFRR and LFRRA via the FishServe web site.

Licensed Fish Receiver Annual Audit Reports

As a licensed fish receiver you must provide an annual audit report covering all your fish-related operations for each fishing year. This report must be submitted no later than 30 November each year and there must be a minimum of 6 months between audits for different fishing years. If you are a newly registered licensed fish receiver, your first audit must be carried out within 6 months of the granting of your licence.

The audit must be carried out by a suitably qualified person, i.e. someone who holds a degree, diploma, registration, or similar qualification that is relevant to the current practices of accounting and auditing, or someone who is sufficiently skilled in identifying and interpreting the systems and internal controls of an LFR to give a reasoned opinion of the adequacy of those systems and controls. The audit may not be carried out by someone who has a close relationship with the LFR, is an officer, employee or shareholder of the LFR or is a person associated with a related third party.

The audit report must contain information and documentation on the systems and internal controls of each of the premises of the LFR. Only one report needs to be made if the fish-related activities in all of your premises are substantially the same in relation to the species handled and the nature of their handling and processing. If different systems or subsystems of documentation, internal controls, or disposal and selling methods apply to any of your premises, these must be reported on separately within the audit report.

You must certify that you have read, understood and, subject to any reservations noted, accepted the results of the audit report and the report must be submitted, together with the annual inventory return, within 21 days of receiving it from the auditor. You must also provide the name of the auditor, their qualifications and the reasons why you consider them to be suitably qualified to conduct the audit on or before the day that the audit report is submitted.

Licensed Fish Receiver Annual Inventory Returns

As a licensed fish receiver you must provide an annual inventory return for each fishing year. This relates to your annual physical stocktake. The annual inventory return must accompany your annual audit report.

Your annual physical stocktake may be undertaken on any date within the fishing year, provided that it is more than six months after the date of any previous annual stocktake. It must be undertaken on the same day for all your operating premises and storage locations, and must cover all categories of fish (including processed fish, fish in the course of being processed, unprocessed fish, fish in transit, fish owned by you but held by another party, fish held by you but owned by another party and fish to be used as bait) owned or held on the date of the stocktake.

The annual inventory return must record the species and state of all fish, the number of fish containers, net weight of each container and the total net weight of each species of fish. In the case of fish in transit, the locations to and from which the fish is being transported and the carrier’s name must be provided. In the case of fish held by a person other than the LFR, details of that person and the location of the fish must be provided. In the case of fish held but not owned by the LFR, details of the fish (species, state and weight) and the owner must be provided.

You must provide a nil return if you have a nil inventory.