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.

Since fishing is an important economic sector in numerous ACP countries, access to export markets for their fishery products, especially to the EU, is of strategic importance.

In order to help third countries to fall in line with these rather complex regulations, the European Commission and the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP), represented by its General Secretary, have decided to finance a support programme “Strengthening Fishery Products’ Health Conditions in ACP/OCT Countries (SFP Programme)”.

The SFP Programme started on 30 November 2002 for a period of five years. On 19 September 2007, the European Commission approved its extension until 30 November 2010.

The beneficiary countries of the SFP Programme are ACP countries (Africa, Caribbean & Pacific), signatories to the Lomé Convention, and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) of The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The SFP Programme provides support to all those involved in the health control of fishery products:

  • The relevant authorities (known in EU regulations as the Competent Authorities) and other institutional stakeholders;
  • Testing laboratories and technical institutes;
  • Processing companies and exporters of fishery products;
  • The small-scale fishery sector.

The overall amount of EU financing for the Programme is EUR 44 860 000, including EUR 2 184 800 funded by The Netherlands and the United Kingdom for their OCTs.