At a Glance

Internal trade of fisheries products within EU Member States is subject to a regulation specifically related to sanitary conditions aimed at the protection of consumer’s health. As a result, imported products have to comply with the same standards

Continued aid to assist Fiji’s access to the EU market

The Republic of the Fiji Islands is one of just two Pacific ACP countries to have signed trade agreements with the European Union (EU) guaranteeing market access for their fishery exports, and one of just three to have an authority responsible for inspecting produce to guarantee compliance with health standards. The EU is a potential market for Fiji’s tuna exports and access to this European market is crucially important for the region. The SFP programme is therefore continuing its aid action with more than 10 interventions in Fiji since 2007, relating in particular to a national control plan, traceability, industry modernisation and landing sites for catches.

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Resolution on arrangements for imports into the EU

On 8 July the European Parliament adopted by 374 votes to 13, with 11 abstentions, a resolution on arrangements for importing fishery and aquaculture products (FAPs) into the European Union with a view to the future reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

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The EFSA has published its 2009 annual report

Founded in 2002 in response to a series of food crises (BSE, dioxin, etc.), the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) plays a vital role in the field of food safety and risk assessment. Every year the Authority strengthens its support for its partners charged with risks management at the European Commission, European Parliament and within the Member States that look to it for advice. In 2009, the number of requests for advice increased to 317 from 285 in 2008. As a result, 636 scientific outputs were issued, 30% more than in 2008.

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“Better training for safer food”: An activity growing by the year

In 2009 the European Commission’s “Better training for safer food” initiative  organised 110 events involving 5 000 participants. These figures are given in the fourth annual report of this programme that aims to train Member State control staff and third party participants in the fields of health (food safety and veterinary aspects) and plant health. These figures are set to increase further for 2010. This growing interest is largely due to factors such as the food crises, increasing consumer awareness, the globalisation of trade in foodstuffs and the lack of harmonisation in implementing food legislation and official controls.

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Improved smoking technique to make exports to the EU market possible

Smoking is a traditional method of fish preservation. Today, however, European standards for products exported to the EU impose strict controls on the chemical contaminants generated by this technique. In July and August 2010, first in Togo and then in the Côte d’Ivoire, Oumoulkhairy Ndiaye carried out “training and technical assistance missions for the managers of fish smoking plants with a view to exporting their products”.

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Towards a computing tool to support inspection systems

Traceability is a fundamental requirement for the effective and efficient application of official checks on food safety for fishery products. The information management system of a Competent Authority (CA) must be able to provide reports and conclusions on steps taken for the approval of production tools, landing sites and establishments, as well as the results of follow-up inspections, laboratory tests and even certification files on exported products.

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