APEC DELEGATES DEBATE EXPORT CERTIFICATES, ROLE IN FACILITATING TRADE
Export certificates and their role in facilitating trade in safe food products in the APEC region was the main topic of a workshop which opened in Hanoi on May 9 as part of the second APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM 2) and related meetings.
The two-day workshop was co-organised by the Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC), the Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) and the Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN).
On the first day of the workshop, delegates from 21 APEC member economies focused discussion on a range of topics such as developing baseline assessments and self-reports of the APEC economies in the implementation of principles for certification set forth by the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS).
They identified gaps and challenges in implementing CCFICS principles: risk-based criteria for products that require certification, practical implementation of model certificates, least burdensome measures to achieve the appropriate level of protection and the use of Good Regulatory Practices (GRPs).
The panels continued dialogues on using innovative options to improve communication and information flow related to export certificates and discussed the past deliverables that are included in the APEC Export Certificate Toolbox and suggested possible updates and additions.
They were provided with information on useful tools when considering export certificate regulations, including the use of good regulatory practices; using Codex guidance to determine if or not when an export certificate may be necessary, ways to streamline requirements, appropriate use of technology and elimination of unnecessary certificates such as in the case of low risk products.
On the second working day, the delegates are scheduled to discuss issues related to the Codex guidance on generic official certificates, the benefits of and challenges when using the model and essential information needed to provide the acceptable level of protection for the importing economy.
They will also share experience in implementing the Generic Model Official Certificate (GMOC) in the APEC region.
APEC groups 21 member economies, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US and Vietnam, which together account for 39 percent of the world’s population and contribute 59 percent of the global GDP and 48 percent of the global trade by November 2016.