12 March 2014

East Africa: EAC Sanitary Measures for Fish and Fisheries Products Launched in Mombasa

press release

Mombasa — The East African Community Sanitary Measures on Fish and Fisheries products was launched today at Sarova White Sands Resort in Mombasa, Kenya order to enhance trade competitiveness and trade in fish and fishery products within EAC and beyond. The Sanitary measures launched consist of documents on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS), Manual of Standard Operating Procedures (MSOP) and the Inspector's Guide.

The Sanitary Measures documents on fish and fishery products elaborate measures and procedures for protection of human and animal health. The measures were developed by EAC Partner States experts on sanitation and quality assurance and are based on scientific justification on risk assessment and provide for levels of protection deemed appropriate by Partner States to protect human, animal and plant health.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sector Hon. Jesca Eriyo said development of the Sanitary measures was in line with Article 38 of the Treaty for Establishment of the East African Community and in tandem with the EAC Common Market Protocol, cooperation in Agricultural and food Security which calls for an effective Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, standards and technical regulations within the EAC.

She stated that greater presence of sanitary and a phytosanitary (SPS) issue on the international trade scene has been driven by the increasing awareness and concern for food safety. "In order to get optimum benefits from regional and international markets we must abide by the relevant rules and regulations" added Hon Eriyo.

Hon. Jesca Eriyo noted that as the pioneer Regional Economic Community (REC) in development of the Sanitary on Fish and Fishery products, the EAC was willing to share the Sanitary measures with other RECs in line with AU-REC Protocol.

The Deputy Secretary General informed stakeholders that EAC Partner States had the obligations and rights under World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Application of, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (WTO-SPS Agreement), International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), (FAO/WHO)'s Codex Alimentarius and other relevant international Protocols to address issues touching on standards and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

The Executive Secretary of the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO), Mr. Godfrey Monor challenged the Partner States to make sure the developed Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures were operationalized. He called for periodical reviews of the measures to highlight the gaps in the implementation process.

The Smart Fish regional representative, Mr. Patrick Kimani commended the team of experts who worked tirelessly to develop the Sanitary Measures document. He pledged Smart Fish support during the implementation of Sanitary Measures at the regional level.

ENDS

Owora Richard Othieno,

Head of Department;

Corporate Communications and Public Affairs;

Tel: +255 784 835021;

Email:

Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department

EAC Secretariat

Arusha, Tanzania

http://www.eac.int

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